dailybiblereader2012

Putting God's Word into Practice…

John 10:22-42–Remember Deliverance

on May 31, 2012

This section of verses starts out by giving us the setting:  “At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem.  It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.”

The Feast of Dedication is also called Hanukkah.  Although it is not a biblically mandated feast from the Old Testament, it is a significant holiday to the Jewish people for two reasons.  First, it is a celebration of deliverance of the Jewish people from the Seleucids and their Hellenistic ways.  Antiochus desecrated the Jewish temple with Greek gods and defiled all the belongings in the temple.  So the Maccabees went to battle for the Temple, for the Jewish people and for their God.  God graciously gave them victory and they began to restore the Temple.  Second, when it came time to relight the menorah there was only enough oil for one day.  God supernaturally extended the life of the oil for eight days until the new oil could be made.  “Because Hanukkah is a celebration of deliverance, it has also become a time to express messianic hope.” (God’s Appointed Times:  A Practical Guide for Understanding and Celebrating the Biblical Holidays, pg. 107-119)  Therefore it makes sense that the people’s anticipation for the coming Deliverer–Christ–Messiah would be heightened.  So they petitioned Jesus, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  The problem was He had been telling and demonstrating His Godhood consistently for about three years.  Yet, they refused to believe.  He finally said to them, “I and the Father are one.”  (Sounds a lot like the Jewish Shema from Deuteronomy 6:4–Hear O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.)  Accusing Him of blasphemy, they picked up stones to kill Him.  

How many of us say we want a deliverer, but where the rubber meets the road, we doubt the power and person of Christ is what we really need?

Thinking back to the origination of the Feast of Dedication, I’m reminded that the temple was in disrepair and overcome with idols.  A deliverer came and restored the temple and restored worship.  In 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 we are told that our bodies are God’s temple.  Does my temple need restored? Is my heart defiled or overcome with idols?  Will I let God deliver me and restore me and make me a vessel of worship to Him?  Since God through Christ has delivered me, I am free to celebrate and feast in remembrance of all He has done!

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