Question:Some say that Jesus attended three Passovers during his ministry and by that try to determine long He preached His gospel. I've heard that there may have been four Passovers, thus making His preaching career longer that 3 1/2 years. The possible fourth passover, I believe is in the Gospel of Luke?
Jesus is specifically mentioned attending the following Passover feasts after his baptism:
- John 2:13
- John 5:1 - There are three feasts that all Jewish men are required to attend: the Passover or Feast of Unleaven Bread, the Feast of Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:16). John doesn’t record which feast is being attended, but some of the early manuscripts use a “the” in front of the word "feast" leading scholars to conclude that it was probably the Passover feast. Of all the possibilities, the Passover feast fits best with the available evidence.
- John 6:4 - This is the one feast where Jesus isn't directly mentioned as being in Jerusalem.
- John 19:14 - Jesus dies on the preparation day of the Passover.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke only mention the final Passover. Luke 2:41 mentions that in his childhood he went to Jerusalem every year for the Passover. To get three and a half years with the final point being the Passover, there had to be a total of four Passovers mentioned.