What does Chanukah (Festival of Dedication) have to do with believers in Yeshua (Jesus)? It’s in the Bible, and Yeshua celebrated it. In doing so, He gave one of the most startling teachings about Himself (John 10:22-38). As well as a remembrance of the perils of giving up God’s words to fit in or save one’s neck, Chanukah is a memorial of the great miracle of the conception of the Messiah — Immanuel (God With Us) — through Miriam (Mary) (Luke 1; 1Chronicles 24; Haggai 2).
This passage has three seemingly distinct teachings — parable of the shrewd manager, whether the Law and Prophets stopped with Yokhanan the Baptizer and a “one-liner” on divorce – but all of them as well as the parable that follows of the rich man and Lazar deal with one topic: God as Master or wealth as Master.
Deep trust in the God of Israel by those new to that trust and separated from God by their former lives is the thread weaved through the accounts of the healing of the Capernaum centurion’s servant (Luke 7:1-10), the raising of the Nain widow’s only son (Luke 7:11–17), Yokhanan’s message of repentance (Luke 7:18–27) and the woman who anointed Yeshua with her tears and expensive ointment (Luke 7:28–35).
The phrase similar to “baptism for repentance for forgiveness of sin” is repeated several times in the Gospels and by Peter in the temple on Shavu’ot (Pentecost). This is not a “warm and fuzzy” message we receive from Yokhanan (John the Baptist). However this isn’t God’s way of finding people inconvenient but a call to true repentance and to become true sons of God.
We are continuing our study of the seven “oracles” with the Benediction of Zacharias after the dedication of John the Baptist and the Psalm of Simon at Yeshua’s dedication.
The births of Yokhanan ben Zakharyah (John the Baptist) and Messiah Yeshua are amazing in that they illustrate how God planned throughout time to “pitch His tent” among mankind in a physical way and hadn’t abandoned the work He started in Israel. God foretold of the coming of a herald for the Messiah via the prophet Malachi announced the arrive of that messenger to Yokhanan’s father, a righteous priest in a priesthood led by wicked men. The coming of the herald and the Messiah followed a specific plan. The seven “oracles” in Luke 1-2 show that the same plan God put in place at the beginning of time still was active even at a dark point in Israel’s history.
What do Yonatan/Yahunatan (Jonathan), Eliyahu (Elijah) and Yokhanan the Mikvatizer (John the Baptist) have in common? The pattern of the preparer and the anointed one repeats throughout Scripture and is evident in the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel.