Speaker: Jerry Cisar
In John 10 Jesus declares, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”(10:11 NIV), and “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (10:10 NIV). This chapter is about having life, and in abundance. But what does that mean?
Does it mean that preachers should have multiple jets and 26,000 ft^2 homes? Does it mean that Christians should be wealthy and never get sick? Assuredly, “No!” On the other hand, does it only mean that we go to heaven when we die? Does it make any difference in the here and now? To answer this we have to explore the story behind John 10 including what people mean when they say, “Happy Hanukkah!”
Some people refer to Hanukkah as the Jewish Christmas because they both involve lights and fall close to each other on the calendar. Christmas, however, is as contrary to the Jewish idea of Hanukkah, as Hanukkah is to the Christmas announcement, “Peace on Earth.” Understanding Hanukkah will open up the meaning of John 10 and Jesus’ pronouncement that He is the entry way and that He is the Good Shepherd for John connects this story thematically to the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) (10:22).
We will briefly describe this feast and discuss its relevance to what is happening in John 10. Join us to worship the same one that the man who had been born blind worshiped once he saw Jesus (9:38).