As I was reading John chapter 10 this morning, I ran across something I don’t remember noticing before.
John 10:22-24 Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonade. The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
The Feast of Dedication, is Hanukkah!
Hanukkah is an 8 day Jewish celebration commemorating the Macabbeans’ victory over the Syrio-Greek army, the taking back of the Temple, and the miracle of one day’s worth of oil for the menorah (Ner Tamid) burning for 8 days while they pressed more oil. This is thought to have taken place around 25th day of Kislev in the Hebrew Calendar. It’s a rededication of the Temple that symbolized God’s presence.
As we are about to celebrate Christmas I can’t help but see how striking it is that Jesus was teaching that he is the Messiah in a season that the world would come to celebrate his birth for thousands of years! THE Temple!
The question He asked that day was “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
The miracle of his birth? The miracles where he healed people? The miracles of feeding thousands of people with very little food? The miracle of walking on water? Raising people from the dead? The miracle of the resurrection?
This is still a relevant question. Will we believe his words because he proved himself to be who he claimed to be, or pick up a stone and hate him?
Jesus changed everything! He called himself the Good Shepherd, and that he came that his sheep may have life, and have it in fullness (John 10). He is God! Messiah! Emmanuel! King of Kings!
He has proven his love for us and provides all we need for an abundant life. I pray this Christmas that we praise God as the shepherds and angels did saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”