- Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. …(Matthew 2:1-2)
We serve a very mysterious God. I sometimes think, “Oh Lord, what does this mean? You have so many symbols, colors, numbers, and oh so many meanings and each applicable only to certain circumstances!”
I believe that it’s well worth our time to seek out and search His word, His meanings, His symbols, His intent–to get to His will for our lives.
Well, that’s no less an expectation to the Magi (translated means either astrologer or astronomer) studying the heavens and the Word of the Lord for years on end, expecting something to happen in the skies, as a sign leading them to the promised Messiah. And, once recognizing the sign of a particular Star, can you imagine that they would be willing to drop everything, climb on their camels, packed with treasures fit for the King of all Kings, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, high-end quality spices, travel across the desert, for an opportunity to see and worship God’s son, the King of the Jews?
“Many Christians see the star as a miraculous sign to mark the birth of the Christ (or messiah). Some theologians claimed that the star fulfilled a prophecy, known as the Star Prophecy. Astronomers have made several attempts to link the star to unusual astronomical events, such as a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, a comet or a supernova.” (source: Wikipedia)
The Star of Prophecy is linked to the Book of Numbers:
- “I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult. (Numbers 24:17)
Note: This prophecy also is also linked to Israel’s the Star of King David, part of the root leading to Jesus Christ.
However, the Star of Bethlehem is special, unique. This Star is of a particular color, bright, shining and large enough to be distinct enough to stand out and have the Magi follow it as it moved across the heavens acting as a compass to lead the Magi to the home of Jesus Christ, deliver their gifts, and worship Him as they were initially inspired to do.
I had an artist friend of mine draw the Star of Bethlehem on a canvas for a project I was involved in. When the Star was completed, trembling, I simply gasped because instantly, I recognized the Star as a Sign of the Cross! Oh how prophetic! Here’s a traditional image that closely resembles the Star of Bethlehem:
“John Chrysostom viewed the star as purely miraculous: “How then, tell me, did the star point out a spot so confined, just the space of a manger and shed, unless it left that height and came down, and stood over the very head of the young child? And at this the evangelist was hinting when he said, “Lo, the star went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.” (source: wikipedia)
I am going to agree with Evangelist, John Chrysostom, … that Star was magnified and bright enough to light the black night to the extent that the Magi’s couldn’t ignore or miscalculated that they were heading in the right direction. It was a supernatural event–one that God would make sure it would take place so that generations would talk about it, ponder on it, be mystified about it, but accept it nonetheless as a true occurrence announcing the birth of Christ.
This also means Christ today still lights our pathways to Him:
- Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
- …and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. (Revelation 1:13)
If anyone wants or needs structural evidence that these events did take place,
I highly recommend the DVD documentary starring attorney, Frederick A. Larson, who does an incredible and outstanding job of tracing time, applying historical data of astronomy using a computer software program and presenting “evidence,” to God’s creativity. This DVD should make a believer out of anyone who still needs more before accepting that Jesus Christ truly is the Son of God, the world’s anticipated Messiah.