WWJD was “the thing” among many Christians for quite a while. What Would Jesus Do? – was the question that was asked to determine the outcome the seeker should take in a given situation. I have to admit I was never really intrigued by this fad. I’m not saying it’s not helpful to pause and consider what Jesus’ response might be in a particular situation, but I am more intrigued by the question What DID Jesus Do? I’d rather not speculate and rely on my own feelings and conclusions about situations I find myself in, but to learn from the things that Jesus did do; to be led by His example.
There are SO many traditions and celebrations centered around this holiday season, and I am intrigued by what scripture say that Jesus actually did during this time of year. Was there a great celebration of His birthday? Were gifts given as we give gifts at a birthday party today? Actually, Jesus was simply a Jew and engaged in Jewish life and culture. John 10:22-30 says:
Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
Jesus was celebrating the Festival Dedication also known as the Festival of Lights or Hanukkah along with all the Jews around Jerusalem. What was this Festival celebrating? It is not a celebration of Christ’s birth, but the celebration of the rededication of God’s Temple – the cleansing of the Temple after the desecration during the time of the Maccabees.
Think about this passage though. Jesus was celebrating the Festival of Dedication – Hanukkah – the Festival of Lights – and it was during this time that the very Light of the World revealed Himself as the light to the world. He revealed that He and the Father are one – that God Immanuel (God with us) was revealed to us; that He alone is the Messiah! God has come in human form – in the form of Christ the Savior.
There are all sorts of websites with all the facts and details of Hanukkah so I won’t go into that here, but as for me, I’m always in awe of how Christ continues to fulfill all that both the New Testament and Old Testament declare about Him. While the Jews celebrated the Festival of Dedication for many, many years before the time of Christ, they didn’t see the meaning of this festival filled to the fullest (fulfilled) until this particular special day when Christ revealed that He was the Messiah that the Jews were waiting for. I LOVE this aspect of this time of year! Well worth celebrating! We serve Jesus Christ who has revealed Himself as the Messiah – the light to the nations!