Rededicating our ‘temples’ to a unified portrayal of God and His High Priest

Chanukah candles on day 8The overarching theme of Chanukah is dedication and rededication of the physical temples of God. Yet the prophets’ warned that God can’t be contained in buildings (1 Kings. 8:27; 2 Chr. 6:18; cf. Jer. 7:1–7), even ones He ordered built (Ex. 25:40; Heb. 8:5). And Messiah Yeshua told a woman in Samaria that worshiping God “in spirit and in truth” doesn’t have to be in a building (John 4:20-24).

The apostles Paul and Peter taught that the physical bodies of believers, especially their minds, are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 1 Pet. 2:4–8). As such, believers are interconnected with one another through the Spirit and Messiah in a mutually supportive network (Rom. 12:3–13; 1 Cor. 12:12–26).

Paul said we believers also are “ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20). The need for unified “good news” is so important that the Messiah prayed, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:20-21). Earthly leaders of nations recall their ambassadors or consuls general if they are not “one” in message and attitude with the leader. Yet many believers in the Messiah haven’t learned such “earthly things” in their treatment of other believers, and thus are working against the message of “heavenly things” (John 3:12).

Thought Questions

What “big problems” did the Maccabees experience?

Do we experience pressure to succumb to Greek influences similar to what the Maccabee’s faced?

What is the “greater glory” that was supposed to enter the temple?

How was Zerubabel a forerunner to the Messiah?

Where is the 24th day of the 9th month mentioned in the Bible?

How did the physical glory of “Herod’s Temple” compare with the glory of Solomon’s temple?

How is Chanukah a historical placemarker for us?

How did God bless those priests who loved him and served him in the Temple even though His full presence was not there?

How was the Temple defiled?

How was it cleaned?

How did the Maccabbees and their supporters know there was something bigger and better?

What does the word “Hosannah” mean?

How is it connected to the Feast of Tabernacles?

What does the phrase “Baruch haba b’shem Adonai” mean?

How did Yeshua rebuild the Temple?

What does the phrase “in Christ” mean?

How are earthly ambassadors of nation-states on one page with one another? What is the consequence if they don’t act at one?

How does this apply for congregational relationships? How can Messianics represent who God is if they are not on the same page spiritually?

Speaker: Jeff

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