God of Miracles

December 5, 2021   /   Palms Baptist Church

Hanukkah is about spiritual Compromise. It’s the story of a miracles that happened between the Old and New Testament. There will be times you are tempted to compromise what you value right now. A time when you want to cave in, even if you know it’s wrong.

Background:

When Alexander the Great died, his four generals fought. Antiochus 4, a Syrian, took Israel. The Greeks began to promote “Hellenism” which was really assimilation into Greek Culture. All things Greek were considered superior. Antiochus saw it best to not only have one government, but one culture.

In 167BC, Antiochus ordered the Jews to stop worshipping God. Circumcision was banned, sacrifices at the temple were stopped, and Sabbath rest was outlawed. The study of the Torah (Scriptures) was made illegal. Many Jews just gave in and converted to Hellenism. Those that did not were persecuted.

Antiochus desecrated the Hebrew Temple, slaughtering a pig on the altar to soak it in pigs blood. The Greeks erected a statue of Zeus in the temple and broke the Menorah. Antiochus wanted to be called “Epiphanes” (God manifest!) but instead the Jews mocked him calling him “crazy man.” (It rhymes in Greek.)

Daniel 8:20-25 prophesied these events that happened between the Old and New Testament

  • Greece (Alexander) is depicted as a goat with four horns.
  • Daniel 8:23, the “bold faced” king is Antiochus. He is a “type” of the Antichrist in Revelation. (Or Beast.)
  • Daniel 8:25 prophesied he would oppose God and be brought down by God.

The Greeks were opposed by a guerilla band lead by the Maccabees’. In a miraculous turn, the Greeks were beat by the smaller forces and driven out of Jerusalem. The temple was restored, the stones for the desecrated Altar were set aside, and the Menorah was repaired. Though there was only enough oil for 1 day, the Jews are said to have lit the Menorah anyway as they prepared more holy oil. A miracle happened, and the supply of one days oil lasted eight days.

This miracle was celebrated in the month of Kislev (November/December.) It became known as the “Feast of Dedication.”

150 years after these events, Jesus attended at Hanukkah celebration in John 10.

  • John 10:22: Jesus is at the “feast of Dedication” which John notes happened in winter. (This note is probably for Gentile readers. Jews knew!)
  • John 10:23: Jesus was walking in one of the oldest portions of the temple, Solomon’s colonnade. (It was said to go back to Solomon, having survived various attacks on the temple. It at least went back to Zerubbabel’s temple) It was a roofed structure supported by pillars that ran along the east side of the temple.
  • John 10:24: The Jews ask at a Hanukkah celebration if Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus’ answer is that he already told them, just the miracles themselves should prove it. This is humorous. They are at a feast celebrating miracles but doubt that Jesus is God’s Messiah. Jesus points them to his miracles. (Come on, guys, we’re at a feast of miracles. Only God does these things. I do miracles. Do the math…)

Jesus gives us 3 things Believe in A Dark World:

1. Believe that God is (John 10:30, John 10:25)

2. Believe that God will . (John 10:26-27)

3. Believe that God (John 10:28-29)

C. Believe that God protects his people (If Gd=doing here?)

Their response: John 10:31-33.

  • An interesting question is: Where did they get stones to stone him? They’re in an covered area of the temple. Some have suggested that they took the remains of the desecrated altar (the stones left that had pigs’ blood on them) and were going to use those to stone Jesus. (See the 26min mark of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmDBuO9XDcQ&list=PLh_V7otGEtczQmo8gHsXSLfiGFLFQCNTR&index=46)
  • Something cool: Revelation 1:12. John, in a situation much like what Jews were in under the reign of Antiochus the 4th, sees Jesus appear in a Menorah. The Menorah in the symbolism of Revelation is the 7 churches, and Jesus appearance in the Menorah is to assure John that even in that dark hour, Christ is with his people.

 

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