Jesus Christ, Esotericist?
One figure Melzer cites to show the prevalence of esotericism is Jesus himself. And he quotes some New Testament passages that seem to back him pretty strongly, e.g.:
"To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given... That is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand." (Matt. 13:10-12)
"To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of god, but for those outside everything is in parables." (Mark 4:11)