Our Readers' Opinions
December 30, 2016
Another thought on Christmas

Editor: In case someone wishes to continue the debate about Christmas, let us consider what Christ did in a similar situation. The Bible says Jesus was in Jerusalem during the feast of dedication. John 10:22 “And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.” The feast of dedication was in winter, in December or late November, almost the time we call Christmas. The feast of dedication was also called the Feast of the Maccabees, and today is called Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights.{{more}} You can learn more about this on an Internet search.

This feast of dedication was NOT an official feast of the Jews declared by God. All the feasts declared by God are found in Leviticus 23. There are seven of them, and at least four of them are on Sunday, the first day of the week, and a couple of others are in the middle of the week. Each of these feasts represents God’s dealing with mankind. The feast of the Passover exemplifies Christ as the Passover lamb; the Feast of unleavened bread represents His taking our sins away. The feast of the firstfruits represents Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The Feast of Pentecost represents the start of the Church, and so on.

The feast of dedication is not listed as one of the seven, and it is man-made because of events in Jewish history. If ever there was a time to declare the wrongness of celebrating a man-made feast, this would have been the time for Jesus to step into the scene and say, you have the wrong day, you have the wrong month, nowhere in scripture are we told to celebrate this feast day, and you are so totally wrong to do this. Just like every Christmas people say these same things about Christmas.

But we read the passage and find He did not say one word about the feast day. He made some bold declarations. He declared He is the one who gives eternal life (present tense, not some future event) and declared who He was, in very clear terms. He claimed to be God in John 10:30 “I and my Father are one.” That is not one in purpose, or one in unity, but that they are the very same in nature. In case you don’t agree with that (and are unaware of the Greek language structure), notice in the next few verses they took up stones to stone him. Why? “The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” (John 10:33). They understood His claim.

He never backed away from that statement, and clearly said if you don’t believe my words, believe because of my works (miracles). John 10:38-39: “But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him. Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand.”

So, at this time of year, it is good say, Jesus is truly Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). And we should spend our time proclaiming He is the only Saviour.

Merry Christmas, and may God increase our understanding of Him in 2017.

In Christ,

Alan Berry