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John 1:38

Context
1:38 Jesus turned around and saw them following and said to them, “What do you want?” 1  So they said to him, “Rabbi” (which is translated Teacher), 2  “where are you staying?”

John 1:49

Context
1:49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king 3  of Israel!” 4 

John 3:2

Context
3:2 came to Jesus 5  at night 6  and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs 7  that you do unless God is with him.”

John 6:25

Context
Jesus’ Discourse About the Bread of Life

6:25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, 8  they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 9 

1 tn Grk “What are you seeking?”

2 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

3 tn Although βασιλεύς (basileus) lacks the article it is definite due to contextual and syntactical considerations. See ExSyn 263.

4 sn Nathanael’s confession – You are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel – is best understood as a confession of Jesus’ messiahship. It has strong allusions to Ps 2:6-7, a well-known messianic psalm. What Nathanael’s exact understanding was at this point is hard to determine, but “son of God” was a designation for the Davidic king in the OT, and Nathanael parallels it with King of Israel here.

5 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Or “during the night.”

sn Possibly Nicodemus cameat night because he was afraid of public association with Jesus, or he wanted a lengthy discussion without interruptions; no explanation for the timing of the interview is given by the author. But the timing is significant for John in terms of the light-darkness motif – compare John 9:4, 11:10, 13:30 (especially), 19:39, and 21:3. Out of the darkness of his life and religiosity Nicodemus came to the Light of the world. The author probably had multiple meanings or associations in mind here, as is often the case.

7 sn The reference to signs (σημεῖα, shmeia) forms a link with John 2:23-25. Those people in Jerusalem believed in Jesus because of the signs he had performed. Nicodemus had apparently seen them too. But for Nicodemus all the signs meant is that Jesus was a great teacher sent from God. His approach to Jesus was well-intentioned but theologically inadequate; he had failed to grasp the messianic implications of the miraculous signs.

8 tn Or “sea.” See the note on “lake” in v. 16.

9 sn John 6:25-31. The previous miracle of the multiplication of the bread had taken place near the town of Tiberias (cf. John 6:23). Jesus’ disciples set sail for Capernaum (6:17) and were joined by the Lord in the middle of the sea. The next day boats from Tiberias picked up a few of those who had seen the multiplication (certainly not the whole 5,000) and brought them to Capernaum. It was to this group that Jesus spoke in 6:26-27. But there were also people from Capernaum who had gathered to see Jesus, who had not witnessed the multiplication, and it was this group that asked Jesus for a miraculous sign like the manna (6:30-31). This would have seemed superfluous if it were the same crowd that had already seen the multiplication of the bread. But some from Capernaum had heard about it and wanted to see a similar miracle repeated.



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