Jesus, Hanukkah & The Books of Maccabees - 1 & 2 Maccabees
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good morning if you're new here Among Us my name is Jean I serve here at C3 Church as your lead pastor if you're not you know that I've been talking about a lot of Christmas Traditions now I want to get this out of the way in the beginning I have nothing against Christmas traditions if you go upstairs after the service we have Fellowship in our Cafe you're going to see all kinds of decorations and Christmassy stuff it's just that this here is about the word that there is about the world right so they're just later Traditions developed much later so this morning I want to start with one that you probably all know about if you've been in church during Christmas season that is the Advent wreath and so I heard a story about a boy in a more traditional Church where they had an Advent wreath and again nothing wrong with that but I'll explain to you where it comes from uh main issue here fire we don't really want to have fun this is why we don't have a barbecue grill we can't have nice things right we can't have fire here no we don't want to do that anyway we've had candle problems too Heather will tell you about it later she can vent a little Christmas stuff so anyway the Advent wreath the boys there they're setting everything up for church he's kind of excited and he notices the guy who's usually one of the ushers he's getting the Advent wreath ready he grabs the candle he does something unusual he cuts the bottom of the candle kind of like the way you'd cut like a carpenter's pencil like an old school kind of thing so it's got the bottom the shape of a pencil and he puts it in the Advent reason and so the boy goes to inspect it and he notices that the candle holders themselves are plenty big for the candles you need to cut it so he asked the Usher why did you cut the candle I don't know I've always done it that way I'll ask one of the Deacons the deacons think they know everything right so ah church people so that's one of the dick they asked one of the deacons right and of course the Deacon knows the answer well everybody knows that when you cut the candle that way it lasts longer it'll last the entire Christmas season and never run out boy was like huh didn't really understand that so he made the mistake of asking his parents we talked about this last week and so immediately they're arguing because they have different ideas about why the candles cut so the boy kind of intervenes and he says you know what let's ask the pastor yeah the dad's really confident he'll settle this and prove that I'm right so they wait till after service check to ask the pastor for a meeting and he figures okay it's Christmas time right people are kind of butting heads now there's a lot of raw emotions during this season so they need a meeting I'm busy but I'm going to put that on the priority list because you know I don't want anything to happen in the marriage so he Figures it's the marriage so the day comes and the couple arrives the mom and dad in the office but strangely the boy follows the men it's like all right would you did something wrong at school like what's going on now here's the thing you ever get a text that says something like we need to talk did you like that neither do the pastors no we don't like that either so don't do that so anyway leave this in the position we don't know what's going on right so we're trying to figure naturally you're trying to figure it out and so he's sitting there like why is the boy here and then what you do in the pastor office is small talk right so you try to kind of make them feel comfortable and so it's kind of awkward for a little while and that's what's going on the pastor we're trained to have some patience through that and so we're sitting there you know just listening you know still thinking we're like listening to but not really thinking about what it is that you came into my office for the boy is not trained like that he's a boy so he just jumps on he's like Pastor we're here about the Advent wreath and so this is what hmm and this is what we're saying everything we want to say in our mind and not with our mouths so the Advent wreath yeah particularly the candle why do you cut the candles why do they do that hmm okay she says well I don't know why they cut the candles like that no clue but I do know why I used to cut the candles like that you see many years ago when we founded this church it was really small and we had a really small Advent wreath and I couldn't find proper looking Advent candles that fit in the race so I'd cut the bottoms to make them fit and everybody's quiet you got me thinking he says to the couple and maybe next year we'll do away with the Advent wreath so we don't have to have meetings like this one yeah why do things disappear in church right now you know the secret okay indeed we see a lot of traditions during this season that many can't seem to accurately explain so we are going to be continuing in our four-part series ruining Christmas traditions with Pastor Gene so we ruined the manger scene right we did that already we ruined gift giving now we're going to ruin the Advent there'll be more to it than that but anyway it's not found anywhere in the Bible nor is it found in the early church at all some say it's a pagan tradition and that's why not why we don't have one here some say it's later on historians will tell us that the first Advent wreath or some historians depending on who you talk to early 1800s by a German Pastor so uh Protestant Pastor Johann Heinrich Wickham I think you pronounce it like that he was known for his missional work to the poor and orphans and the kids would be bugging him when's Christmas coming when's Christmas coming are we there yet are we there yet are we there yet and so what he did is he started an Advent wreath and it had until I get this right here 20 red candles and four white ones that's a lot of fire right so he was Brave and so he had a lot of candles so picture like one of those uh what are they the Advent calendars that you have where you open up the door and you get a little piece of chocolate or something like that like that so it was for the children anyway that's the story of the adminary and people have argued about Traditions like this for years and in doing so they kind of miss the point don't they if we're being honest now this is the thing in a non-denominational church we're always trying to cut through those Traditions to the word right so what does it say here right so we look at that but sadly through the traditions of man the church has often chosen tradition over truth that's kind of a problem so we know that Jesus didn't have an Advent wreath what if I told you that Jesus didn't have a Christmas tree either we know that but Jesus didn't observe many of the Christmas traditions that we do today nor did the early church and so what we want to do today we're going to look at a tradition that Jesus observed this time of year so you may have heard the question what would Jesus do maybe you heard that what would you good question what would Jesus do today we're going to ask another one what would Jesus be doing this season or this week I'm going to try to answer that in order to get to answer that question we have to go back to the Bible of the early church if you've been here before I'm going to keep this explanation really short so I'm just going to get to it if you have questions about this you can ask me you can email me and I will answer it goes throughout the series so you can go to the intro of the series and you'll get all the information so again the Bible of the early church when you're looking at the earliest copies that we have right so complete copies we have like incomplete copies all the way down almost like after John when the ink is wet really close but when you're looking at the whole Bible to try to get an understanding of what books they were reading what it looked like you'll see a Bible that has two unique features and some won't really get this although it's completely well known within scholarship first unique feature that surprised me coming from a Protestant background is that it was all in Greek even the Old Testament so that kind of blew my mind at first but makes sense they're writing the New Testament in Greek they're quoting the Old Testament in Greek it's the language Franca of the day the other thing that kind of blew my mind is that in the Old Testament portion it had 14 anywhere from 14 to 16 more books in it that was interesting when I found that out that's what they were reading so fun facts contained this book we're going to look at today Maccabees there are four of them and while denominations will disagree about whether there's a scripture or not we're not going to do that here even Martin Luther said they were good to read and included them in his translation of the Bible a lot of people don't know that either so these books and this is an interesting thing if you've never heard this before to consider these books were in all Bibles for the first round numbers 1800 years of our 2 000 year Christian history think about that they were in all Bibles of from the beginning right all Bibles 1800 years of our 2000 year Christian history like 90 of it or something like that including the 1611 King James Bible so that's Maccabees in a 1611 King James Bible it was in there so there it is if you cannot read that it's kind of hard to read it's even harder to read than the King James is today I'm just going to quickly suggest a couple physical Bibles because you're like oh my mind doesn't have it which one does nrsv nrsv is pretty good A lot of people don't know it comes from that pedigree so you can trace it all the way back to the King James Bible so after that you have the British standard version 1901 you have the American Standard Version it's all about just trying to update the language then you have the revised Standard Version in the mid 1900s and then you have the new revised Standard Version nrsv so if you like the analog paper Bible That's a good one the scriptures I'll be using today are GNT good news translation or gntd if you're looking it up in your app if you like the digital things moving on Maccabees we're going to focus on one and two so The Maccabees those books even if you're not regarding them as scripture they give us really good historical accounts of what happened 200 years ish before Jesus so we kind of get an idea what's going on in the world it's very interesting so we have this time when Alexander the Great dies and then his generals are going to take things over there's four of them the focus is on two of them and so that's what it's looking at also we get a window into a festival that celebrated this time of year when it's kind of what it comes from that Jesus also celebrated this time of year so it's going to be kind of interesting Jewish people still celebrate it today first and second Maccabees is what we're going to focus on they kind of run in parallel like Second Kings and second Chronicles for example so similar-ish things are going on and you're just getting sort of different perspectives of the same account more information so it's kind of what's going on here second McAfee's focus is a little bit more unlike God's hand in the whole thing so it's kind of more theological third Maccabees that does not appear in as many old Bibles not the 1611 King James it happens about 50 years before what we're going to talk about today so we're not going to talk about that fourth Maccabees is super super interesting it is an amazing if you like philosophy you like deep reading really like getting into something and something making you think deep a masterpiece the first chapter especially is brilliant and so great philosophical work then it goes to martyrdom that's a big thing in Maccabees suffering and dying ultimately for what you believe and so it goes through Eleazar a priest that dies for what he believes in a woman and Her Seven Sons they all get tortured and die for what they believe she dies as well and second Maccabees the accounts like one chapter barely this is like many many many many many chapters it's a lot of graphic detail one thing that you will notice if you're reading uh Maccabees is that there are a lot of battle scenes so if you like epic battles Maccabees is for you so like there's a picture of it here so it's amazing so now what you have is not just like the Old Testament chariots and this stuff you have different nations coming in and you start to get giant war elephants and they describe like these huge war elephants and how many people fit on the little basket and how they're outfitted and armored and all this stuff and it kind of makes me think of Lord of the Rings and I even looked it up and apparently Tolkien is that his name he was a Christian and he ripped off a lot of Maccabee stuff so that's what happened so this is where Legolas gets all his moves so if you're watching the movie no joke when you read it literally like a guy stabs an elephant from underneath it comes down and kills them it's pretty amazing stuff so big big epic battle scenes our Focus today will be on the maccabean revolt so we're going to look at first McAfee's one through four and second Maccabees eight through ten sevenish chapters let's hop right in Maccabees 1-1 The Story begins when Alexander the Great son of Philip of Macedonia marched from Macedonia and attacked Darius King of Persia and media should sound a little familiar right Alexander enlarged the Greek Empire by defeating Darius and seizing his throne he fought many battles captured fortified cities and put the kings of the region to death as he Advanced to the ends of the Earth he plundered many nations and when he had conquered the world he became proud and arrogant by building up a strong Army he dominated whole Nations and their rulers and forced everyone to pay him taxes when Alexander had been Emperor for 12 years he fell ill and realized that he was about to die he called together his generals noblemen and people who had been brought up with him since his early childhood and he divided his Empire giving apart to each of them after his death the generals took control and each had himself crowned king of his own territory the descendants of these Kings ruled for many generations and brought a great deal of Miser three on the world so this all connects do you remember Daniel remember Daniel roughly 8-ish through 11ish they're giving these prophecies the one that's kind of like hard to say because what is it the goat Rams the ram right so the goat is the one with the one horn that represents Alexander the Great right Persian media is the other ramsum four horns grow out another prominent horn this is Antiochus epiphanies Antiochus the force and then we get these other predictions that are going to happen this is what is being talked about so if you don't have Maccabees in your Bible you're kind of like huh and then left to speculate and come up with things that are wrong and this is why if you look at some copies of the Bible the early church if you have a lexem English Septuagint uh Septuagint I guess Alias some of you bought that at the beginning of the series Believe in there Maccabees is right after Daniel and it makes sense because it takes you you go oh that's just what had been prophesied there now we're going to talk about other prophecies that do go to Jesus and later yes they're all in there but it's like this time that time this time that time so interesting what you're dealing with here is the the kings of the North and the kings of the South not that show a different show so anyway so we're dealing with the kings of the north just think of it like Syria it's like that that region Kings of the South think of it like Egypt and so the ptolemies this is where Cleopatra is going to come from She's Like the sixth so Cleopatra is going to come from the ptolemies so it's it's weird for us to think of because they're Greek they come from Greece right they're Greek generals and they're blending into these other societies so like these these uh you know Syrian Society here that's the seleucids where Antiochus comes from and then you have the ptolemies and this is this whole big Dynasty and they become like Greek but then they're Egyptians it's kind of a strange historical crossover nobody really thinks about that so Antiochus epiphanies bad dude he's no good he's really wicked and so what happens is so he's like the second son after his father one of Alexander's generals so he's the fourth actually and so what it says is it'll just describe him and then he'll talk about these what they call like bad influences these traitorous Jews and they have no regard for the law so what happens is naturally the Jewish people are going to say okay you know we're just going to serve under you and adopt your customs and they abandon the law so sound familiar right they start abandoning God's rules the law the Customs the traditions and then it gets disgusting for the first time because among these traditions they abandoned circumcision but what if you were already circumcised they were getting uncircumcised yes why that's enough yeah exactly so like anyway we're not gonna yeah no jokes no jokes okay good I'm good so what they end up doing is they build a stadium now if you're reading it back then you're going you know because you know what this means what they're going to do they build a stadium now it's not bad sports are not bad Christians go do your sports that's fine just try not to do them on Sundays but anyway well during church right so so not bad not bad Jews is like nothing that I can recall in the Old Testament against like playing basketball for example so it's all good um but you see the Greeks uh they would do their Sports in the nude that was a thing don't want to go back there right so no so anyway they would and so they would know if you were Jewish so you would get uncircumcised that's the thing enough of that anyway the book goes into that whole thing so we get the situation where Antiochus he's gonna go after Ptolemy and Egypt and he has some victories kind of chases him away he has to retreat for a while he turns around and then he comes back and says okay I'm going to get the Jewish people so he starts attacking lands of Judah he gets to Jerusalem and he takes away all the stuff into some of the stuff and the temple he's very arrogant right so this is bad it kind of starts reminding you of what Nebuchadnezzar that kind of thing it's bad it happens to them also very very deceitful and what happens another bad thing what they do is they build a fortress in Jerusalem right near the temple all right so now it just it's a wreck the whole thing's a total mess for the Jewish people he ends up making decrees so he does away with the law you're not allowed to read the law or you die he makes Judaism basically illegal they want them to all become Gentiles but it gets worse the mothers who circumcise their children they die and they hang the babies so it's a horrible horrible guy no good bad they also set up and he's going to be familiar the Obama Abomination that causes desolation you probably heard Jesus say that there's kind of like two this is the first one so they set that up it's real bad that's what's being predicted but then if you know and like Mark 13 Matthew 24. that's what Jesus is talking about that's the Romans this here though gets set up it's what Daniel had predicted now the point where it moves in is that the good Jewish people they are going to refrain from all of this and so they would rather die so that's basically what's going on if you're hopping back and forth you get the story here about the woman and the Seven Sons right so they give you examples of how these people they just they're Martyrs they just die for what they believe leave then it segues in you get this guy named matathias if you turn the page chapter 2 matathias shows up and he's a priest and he's also kind of a warrior it says he has five sons and one of them is Judas maccabeas or Judah Maccabees two different ways that you can say it either way fine we're not speaking the original language so what happens is there he's saying no no he shouldn't do this he's a righteous guy he's a priest and one guy stands up to sacrifice anyway like something he shouldn't basically like a big thing in the book is like Pig's flesh you're not supposed to eat pig if you're Jewish so he's doing something like that and Judah or I'm sorry matathias decides okay I'm going to kill him so he kills this guy then he kills the official there ordering everybody to do it and then you start getting a lot of this they recall things in the Old Testament so he's like Phineas who chucked the spear through zimmerion caused by right so he killed them for being with the Midian women so it'll start to recall all this stuff so it's kind of cool if you know the Old Testament real well and then what he does is he heads for the hills he goes out in the wilderness some versions say mountains and then he starts like this gorilla Army and then you have this whole thing with like the Sabbath because okay can we fight on the Sabbath if we're being like religious and righteous can we fight on the Sabbath and one group decides not to and so they slaughter them and so mad Atlas is like okay we fight on the Sabbath let's do that so he he starts like raiding them and all this other stuff and he's kind of mean he's enacting Revenge he is forcibly circumcising people who aren't so they're just growing and growing and growing getting a bigger and bigger Army and then finally the time comes for him to die and he hands the mantle over to Judah Maccabees Judas Maccabees not Maccabees meaning Hammer so that's where you get the Hebrew hammer from if you heard of that right so that's what he's all about so now enter Judah Maccabees and I made you a little chart if you're interested uh you can go through that that's kind of like like the parallelish chart there of how they work together kind of difficult um so there's like a poem about him and so if we go to the picture he's like this real like uh big hero Judas brought greater glory to his people in his armor he was like a giant he took up his weapons and went to a war with his own sword he defended his Camp he was like a ferocious roaring lion as it attacks Judas hunted down those who broke the law he made life miserable from any Kings and brought Joy to the people of Israel we were praise him forever for what he did so he's like this big war hero he has some very kind of like not small victories but apollonius against this guy Apollonia is a general and it says he uses apollonius's sword to the day he dies Sauron sound familiar right and so they have this battle there I believe that's the one it's kind of like the movie 300 where it's like a narrow pass the whole time he's encouraging his people they have a smaller Army but he's saying no no the Lord will fight for us it sounds like a very old testament dish so now what's what happens is the wicked King it ends up costing him tons of money almost bankrupts him so it's really really bad he has to go to other places to get the money to build up this Army he puts a guy named lysius in charge and you get the names of all these different generals just kind of passing over quickly and I canor gorgeous and so you get Ptolemy they are friends of the king you're going to hear that phrase a lot Friends of the king or relative of the king that's lysius so he's like second in command even in command of his are in charge of his son so now you can bring up the chart just where we are Judas hears about it that's first McAfee's three second Maccabees eight and he starts again encouraging his people getting his army together and he ends up defeating all of them so gorgeous he defeats it's like he defeats like he bring comes with an army it gets larger and larger each time five thousand guys Judah defeats like 3 000 second Maccabees we see some other generals Timothy has nothing to do with the New Testament Timothy and again encouraging him don't worry about the size of the Army in each time he's beating them each time with a much smaller Force finally uh lysius himself the next year brings like 65 000 depending on the version you're reading against Judas is ten thousands again much smaller Army he defeats them they flee because then it cuts away as where it gets really complicated because it jumps and First Maccabees you can show the chart and then in the second Maccabees it just kind of flows right through nicely what happens is Antiochus is then punished he's given this awful stomach disease it makes a note that like he smells so bad that his people can't go near him at all the point is God is just humbling him and finally he gets humble to the point where he writes a nice letter to the Jewish people he tries to make up all right so it segues to that then back to what we're talking about then we get to today like what's going on and during the season First Maccabees 4 36. so they have more battles then we get Judas and his brother said now their enemies have been defeated let's go to Jerusalem and purify the temple and rededicate it remember it's been defiled so the whole Army was assembled and went up to Mount Zion there they found the temple abandoned the altar profane the gates burned down the courtyard's grown up in a forest of weeds and the priest's rooms torn down in their sorrow they tore their clothes cried loudly through ashes on their head and fell face down on the ground when the signal was given on the trumpets everyone cried out to the Lord then Judas ordered some of his soldiers to attack the men in the fort remember the fort just north of it while he purified the temple and we hopped the second Maccabees Judas maccabeus and his followers under the leadership of the Lord recaptured the temple and the City of Jerusalem they tore down the altars which foreigners had set up in the marketplace and destroyed the other places of worship that had been built they purified the temple and built a new altar then with new fire started by striking Flint they offered sacrifice for the first time in two years burned incense lighted the lamps and set out sacred lows after they had done all this they lay face down on the ground and prayed that the Lord would never again let such disasters strike them They begged him to be merciful when he punished them for future future sins and not hand them over any to any more barbaric Pagan Gentiles they rededicated the temple on the 25th day of the month of kislev kind of like December kiss lab the same day of the month on which the temple had been desecrated by the Gentiles the happy celebration lasted eight days like the Festival of shelters and the people remembered how only a short time before they had spent the festival shelters wandering like wild animals in the mountains and living in caves but now carrying green palm branches and sticks decorated with Ivy they paraded around singing grateful praises to Him who had brought about the purification of his own Temple everyone agreed that the entire Jewish Nation should celebrate this Festival each year so here we see where Hanukkah comes from this is the origin of Hanukkah you've probably heard of Hanukkah so this is it now there are a lot of later Traditions like we Christians have around the holidays the menorah it is not in this story it's completely absent from the story but they lit candles right later Traditions like if you go to the talmud and you look up later Traditions you'll see that there's a legend that Judas maccabias and his followers they lit like candle they only had enough oil for one day but it lasts eight days and so that's why you have the menorah so you have these eight candles and the other candle you used to light the other ones to celebrate that's what they're celebrating that's what it is the miracle of the oil that lasts the full eight days so that the temple stays lit for the whole festival there you go so there's one thing I want to just draw your attention to because when you start talking about The Maccabees again or non-denominational so we don't argue about this stuff sixty percent of Christians read from these books right so we're all Brothers and Sisters in Christ some don't but they kind of argue about it and that defeats the whole purpose right so we're not going to do that but you will see an argument here come up over these books I want to just take a second and clarify a little theological but we'll get back to the application here so one thing to notice in the accounts if you're reading it you'll notice I just breezed over it really quick but What Judas maccabeus does a lot is he consults the law a lot he's looking at the books of the law what do we do let's look at the law he prays a lot so it seems to be and it says you know at the direction of the Lord these things are happening there's one time when he does not consult with a lot if we keep reading second Maccabees 12 38. so um there are more battles going on so after the battle Judas LED his men to the town of Adam sound familiar it was the day before the Sabbath so they purified themselves according to Jewish custom and they observed the holy day by the following day it was urgent that they gather up the bodies of the men who had been killed in battle and bury them in their family tombs but on each of the Dead hidden under their clothes they found small Idols like images of the false gods worshiped in jamnia in which the law for bids Jews to wear everyone knew why these men had been killed so they praised the ways of the Lord the just judge who reveals what is hidden and they banged him that this sin might be completely blotted out then Judas that great man urged the people to keep away from sin because they had seen for themselves what had happened to those men who had sinned he also took up a collection from all his men totaling about four pounds of silver and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering Judas did this Noble thing because he believed in the resurrection of the Dead if he had not believed that the dead would be raised it would have been foolish and useless to pray for them in his firm and devout conviction that all God's faithful people would receive a wonderful full reward Judas made a provision for a sin offering to set free from their sin those who had died so the author is like kind of making an excuses for him why because this is not anywhere in the law of Moses it is not it is wrong it's not a good thing so this is one of the objections to this book that he's making prayer for the Dead so here's the thing just to be Crystal Clear yes we are non-denominational but there are certain things where no like I can say you're wrong prayer for the dead that's one of them what you decide here in your life on Earth that will determine your destiny that's it that's it right so this is affirmed if you do not believe you know so other certain dominations believe read Luke 16 Jesus affirms this very clearly Lazarus and the rich man check it out first Timothy right there is only what one mediator between God and man Jesus Christ right so it's very very very bad thinking so not to pick on anybody it's horrible thinking think about it if uh like I knew Heather could pray for me right after I die and then I'll be set well I can just then do whatever I want can't I that's really dangerous Theology and indeed it became horrible we had indulgences and this is the really the Reformation what it's essentially about it led to that because you know hey ah you pay me enough money I'll make sure Grandpa's set you know it's just it's very very very bad theology so just just to say that people talk about that pray for the Dead we don't do that here so this mistake and that's what it is on Judas maccabeus's part is the reason some will point out like for the removal of all the rest of the books too uh even though remember it was in there for 1800 years like think of it this way like the apostles didn't have a problem with it so that and here's the other thing I want to make this point about the Bible because a lot of people will do this I've talked even pastors they're like try to make this story about you right or they try to make other Heroes this is only about Jesus that's it right so there's no other heroes in the Bible so if we tore out every book of the Bible right where someone did something stupid and then someone stupid made a Doctrine out of it we would be left without a Bible all right so we see quote Heroes do this all the time we talked about this if you've been here for a long time you've heard this if you haven't you probably haven't heard about this but think about it right Abraham Abraham and Sarah Abraham he is deceitful what does he do to Pharaoh right causes problems what does he do to abimelech of garar he deceives him listen Sarah don't tell him you're beautiful so don't tell him you're my wife you're my sister well that's half true so he's like a half deceiver right and that's gross but if we move on Isaac you wouldn't think he would do anything wrong did the same thing to abimelech of garage again but this time he's totally a liar tell him you're my sister nope no that's Rebecca that's your wife bro so what if right I want to come along right now well I come along and I say guys I think it'd be really cool if it was okay that we deceive people let's come up with doctrine of Deceit right why Abraham did it Isaac did it all right and then someone come along and say nope we got to rip Genesis out of the Bible that would be bad thinking wouldn't it yes because Abraham and they're just men they're just flawed humans they're not Heroes at all right so just remember that we could do the same thing with David it's not just Bathsheba it is not the adultery first of all deceiving deceiving people eight Gish of gas he's deceiving him and was he doing raiding parties he's killing lots of people and this is actually the stated reason that he does not get to build the temple it's not the adultery it's that he shed much blood he murdered a lot of people when you go on these raiding parties you kill the women and children too right and it's not exactly commanded by the Lord but also a himelect the high priest he deceives him he flat out lies to him about his mission and he gets his whole family killed that's his fault it's really bad so what do we do ah first and second Samuel rip them out right you know would that be the right no the appropriate response no we must look at the Bible correctly Judas maccabeas is not the hero of the story we run into theological problems when we do that so if a human falling short is like the reason we're going to tear a book it's about we'd be left without the Bible at all so look there's only one hero in the Bible that comes in the form of a man and that is Jesus that's it he is the only one we should be looking to as a Guiding Light Paul will say use me epaphroditis Timothy as examples but he clarifies because we are following Jesus right so like if you're not mature enough to get there okay just take a baby step towards me come on come on that's all he's doing ultimately my job everybody Jesus just there there we do baby steps we help you along but walk on your own after a while and walk in the light walk in the Lord so with that in mind let's answer the initial question what would Jesus be doing this time of year new testament John 10 22 it was now winter and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah the Festival of dedication some versions will say Festival of Lights remember the menorah he was in the temple walking through the Section known as Solomon's Colonnade the people surrounded him and asked how long are you going to keep us in suspenses if you're the Messiah tell us plainly Jesus replied I have already told you and you don't believe me the proof is in the work I do in my father's name some you may know that today is Hanukkah it's Hanukkah today so if you're Jewish or if you just feel like doing it you want to get a menorah and celebrate you can do that tonight begins Hanukkah it is the beginning of that festival and this is what Jesus would be doing today it's what he did the word of God tells us that also called the Festival of The Maccabees so I'm not going to mention there's a TV show and a funny story I'm not we I can't know I'm not gonna do that okay so anyway Jewish people know this it's in pop culture they talk about The Maccabees lots and now when you hear this you'll go oh I know what they're talking about and rightly this is why the King James the 1611 King James says that when you're looking at John 10 22 and I made a little Mark there it's tiny I know whatever but go check out first McAfee's four so the King James translators are saying oh you want to go over to Maccabees now that we kept in the Bible yeah okay if we go back to John John 8 12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said I am the light of the world if you follow me you won't have to walk in darkness because you will have the light that leads to life indeed Jesus is now the light of the world he's not just an eight day light he's not a temporary light he is the light that we are to follow the Guiding Light that we are to walk in the Eternal Light now if we keep reading the rest of the story I'm gonna skip ahead a little bit towards like the end ish and we're going to take a look at Jesus coming back you sang it in the song coming back with fire in his eyes yes certainly Jesus will come back so if you know the basic idea here Jesus is crucified and dies according to the scriptures he's buried Third Day rises from the dead that was the big deal in the early church the resurrection they're celebrating that every Sunday amazing 40 days he ascends to heaven but with the promise he's going to come back to restore the kingdom but here faith you don't know only the father knows what's the point you are to be living every day like he's coming back today that's the point that's faith so don't believe people right so there's one common denominator among all end times prophecy they're all wrong they've all been wrong Through the Ages none of them are right they missed the point people doing this are not people of faith and they're not preaching to people of faith you need to just believe he's coming back and in the meantime I'm going to be behaving like he's coming back and that's what this is all about Mark 13 Matthew 24. be ready be ready and he gives all The Parables about what being ready for the Master's return be ready that's the point so when you get to the end Jesus comes back it says the prophecy about it this is what we believe in as Christians this is how we build our faith he's common and he's going to judge both the living and the dead well that's what it says so it's good for some people bad for others but check this out Revelation 21 1 then I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth this is prophecy future the first Heaven and Earth disappeared and the Sea vanished and I saw the holy city the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven from God prepared and ready like a bride dressed to meet her husband I heard a loud voice speaking from the throne now God's home is with his people he will live with them and they shall be his people God himself will be with them and he will be their God he will wipe away all tears from their eyes there will be no more death no more grief or crying or pain the old things have disappeared that sounds really nice doesn't it right so that is what we place are open but did you catch it that heaven and Earth won't be like this one free Peter melts this Earth will be destroyed gone Everyone likes celebrating Earth Day is Like no no sorry but it's Jesus don't argue with me right so yeah it's that's it it's gone new Heaven and new earth not like this corrupted one that's what we're gonna stop trying to make this Heaven it's not we're told we're going to get a new Heaven and a new Earth and that's what we look forward to if we keep reading check this out in light of what we looked at today Revelation 21 22. I did not see a temple in the city don't need that because its Temple is the Lord God Almighty in the land the city has no need of the Sun or the moon to shine on it they're gone too because the glory of God Shines on it and the lamb is its lamp the peoples of the world will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring wealth into it if we keep reading it reiterates this point revelation 22 5 and there will be no night there no need for lamps or sun for the Lord God will shine on them and they will reign forever and ever God will finally be enough because of the son we won't have a need for the son and we'll walk in his light forever there will be no Tempo we will not need the buildings we will not need the traditions we will not need the menorah his light will be enough Maccabees gives us a historical understanding of what Jesus was celebrating this time of year and as Jesus is the Fulfillment of all the Jewish festivals he is the light of the world that will never run out it also gives hope an encouragement to Christians who are suffering today if we go back to the New Testament we'll find another quote of Maccabees in Hebrews Hebrews 11 talks about what faith is what is faith faith is the reality of what we hope for it is the evidence of things we cannot see that's the point that's how the Bible defines it then we see the people of faith it gives a lot of different examples examples then there's some people that maybe you didn't know who they were they're not named Hebrews 11 35 through faith women receive their dead relatives raised back to life others refusing to accept Freedom died under torture in order to be raised to a better life and rightly the King James translators note that this is a quote going back to Second Maccabees seven although we live in a dark world we have the eternal light of the world and so now during our time here we walk in that light as Jesus said but we're given the hope the promise that he will return and he will be our light forever and ever no matter what it's like here no matter what you're going through no matter what suffering is occurring in your life or I'll go under something I always say no one comes in here with a winning lotto ticket but if that's you please tithe it was getting serious just I'm good at ruining moments not just Christmas traditions if that you were all going through something we're not unique we are hopefully you all look like me but we're not unique right we all go through struggles and this time of year it flares up because unrealistic expectations focus on Jesus and just realize this have faith draw yourself back to this no matter what is happening to you no matter what you're going through that's going to happen to you you're going to be with Jesus for eternity if you are in him so with that in mind I'd like to close with scripture second Corinthians 4 16. for this reason we never become discouraged even though our physical being is gradually decaying yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day and this small in temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory much greater than the trouble for we fix our attention not on the things that are seen but on things that are unseen what can be seen lasts only for a Time but what cannot be seen lasts forever amen foreign thank you