The Festival of Lights in Judaism, or Hanukah, is celebrated each year in our month of December. The festival originated in the days of Judas Maccabaeus, who said that “the days of dedication of the altar should be observed with joy and gladness for eight days beginning with the 25th day of Chislev.”
So, lights were set in every Jewish home and in the Temple. The light was representative of the light of freedom that returned to Israel after the tyranny of Antiochus Epiphanes, who sought to stamp out the Jews and institute Hellenism in Palestine.
It was during the month of Chislev, our December, that Jesus walked into Solomon’s Porch in the Temple and the Jews came asking him, “How long will you keep us in suspense?” (John 10:24). The Jews wanted Jesus to tell them plainly who he was.
From the feeding of the multitude in John chapter six to this time in the Temple, Jesus had told them exactly who he was. “How long will you keep us in suspense?” There was no suspense. They had tried to stone Jesus to death because they knew he was the son of God. They knew because he had shown them (John 7:19, 30, 32, 44; 8:59; 10:31).
If it seems that the Jews had purposely blinded their eyes and deafened their ears, they had. In fact, it was amazing what the blind man saw and what the “seeing” Pharisees could not see in John 9. The former blind man finally understood that Jesus is the son of God while the Jews kept wondering, “How long will he keep us in suspense?”
The Jews enjoyed the light of freedom for a time and created a festival of lights to commemorate it. It is sad that they had with them the Son of God come down from heaven who said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5) and they chose to sit in darkness instead of enjoying an emancipation from the bondage of sin. They wanted to put out the light of God instead of basking in the knowledge and the blessings his light brought.
Are you in bondage as they were? There are many people who sit and wonder when Jesus is going to come to them and declare to them plainly that he is their Savior. He’s already done that. Believe the truth of the Bible and seek salvation by obedience to the gospel. Be free of your sin and know certainly the light of the world!