Chapter 14 we hear of the capturing of King Demetrius while he was on his way to defeat King Trypho. Demetrius would go on to spend 50 years in captivity and upon release regained his throne a short while until his assassination. Then the storyteller switches gears and attention to Simon who has confirmed peace with the Spartans and Romans. There are great decrees written in his name and he is named general and high priest of the Jewish nation. Peace was once restored in the land.
Chapter 15 we see more betrayal from the throne of Antiochus. The chapter begins with a letter exchanged between his nation and the Jewish nation reassuring them of the previously established peace treaties by his father. But when Antiochus and his men begin attacking Trypho, Simon sends him troops and is punished for it, it completely enrages the king. Some speculate that Antiochus wanted to regain the land on his own so he was not indebted to the Jewish people but it could also have to do with Simon’s alliance with Rome. A territory probably next on Antiochus’ hit list.
Chapter 16 is the concluding chapter of 1 Maccabees and sets the stage for the next period of time in Judea. Simon and two of his sons are assassinated leaving John alone. John has just come off winning a battle against Cendebeus and began making a name for himself and living up to the family name. We do not know what will go on to become of John, that is for another book and another story.
Maccabees offer a perspective on what it's like to have to fight for religious freedom and power. To be persecuted in the land of your ancestors is humiliating and demoralizing but this great family took it upon themselves with their faith and trust in God to stand up for their faith. Even to today, the Church continues to be persecuted and the Gospel message is not welcome in all corners of the world. What can we do to save our Church? Seek God, put your faith in God, and stay true to the path he has paved for you. We are the resurrected people, lets us continue by the grace of God to defend it.