“My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10:27-30 NRSV).
Eyeglasses help us to see clearly when our vision is otherwise distorted. Scratches, smears and dirt blur that vision. Clear vision is essential to navigate our path and to avoid dangers and obstacles. It is the same way when we study scripture. The lens of prophecy and observing the 5 rules of biblical interpretation are key to understanding God’s Word properly. One such example is Hanukkah.
Today is the 5th day of Hanukkah and it celebrates the Dedication of the Temple of God. Contrary, to what many Christians may believe there are references to Hanukkah in both the Old and New Testament. Today we will look at the reference from the Gospel of John. Jesus observed the Festival of the Dedication and was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon when he was asked if He was the Messiah. (John 10:22-23). His answer pierced the hearts of his adversaries.
” I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me, but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.” (John 10:25-26 NRSV).
Our king tells us that those who belong to him, hear his voice and those who believe in Him will not perish. True believers cannot be snatched out of Jesus’ hand. The word John uses in the Greek is harpazo (which means to snatch, pluck, catch away). It is the same Greek word used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 with regards to the Rapture. When we understand this connection, something amazing is revealed. Jesus, on Hanukkah, not only declares oneness with the Father but alludes to his future coming. This Festival plays a future role in the age to come and it played a major role in the time between the Old and New Testament. The history of Hanukkah will be explored in the next post. EJ.