The Star of Bethlehem is Still There
It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas. When you walk into a store or turn on a few radio stations, you hear Christmas music. Granted nowadays most the Christmas music is about Santa not Jesus Christ, but still there is a joy to it that cheers the heart. Nonetheless, it does sadden me greatly that many miss the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ! I was listening to a Christmas song the other day that talks about the Star of Bethlehem. This got me thinking and writing of the wonder of God becoming a baby, and of a bunch of wise men following an extraordinary star to see this miracle.
Yesterday, I read an article about a conjunction where Jupiter and Saturn will come so close together visually that they will look like one bright star on December 21, 2020. This will give us a wonderful chance to see one of the theories that explains the Bethlehem Star found in Matthew 2:2. The two planets align about every two decades, but astronomers say you will have to go back hundreds of years for a conjunction this spectacularly bright.
The star of Bethlehem is a miracle. Around the time of Jesus Christ’s birth there was a rare triple conjunction of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. So was the star of Bethlehem a natural occurrence that God predestined to happen at just the right time? Or did God simply make the star just for the purpose to illuminate where God Himself would be dwelling on the earth - for the wise men who believed a prophecy written hundreds of years before? Either way it was certainly a wondrous supernatural event that lit the way to God. An event we are still talking about.
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 saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet, 'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel. (Micah 5:2)'" Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:1-11 (ESV)
Wise men seek God's Word
Why did a group of Persian wise men follow a star for weeks? It seems rather ridiculous for them to follow a star foretold in Jewish writings. The Jews were a small, conquered nation. There were many recognized gods for these highly trained and respected Persian priests to seek and worship, with their ritual acts and astrology. These men were impressive, even King Herod listened to their every word. Some have called them king-makers. Yet, these wise men knew from the events from old, found in the book of Daniel, that these Jewish writings were from the living God. They also understood from these writings - a Ruler, a King more real, powerful, and caring than any king or god that they knew of - was now literally coming to the earth. Why wouldn’t these Persian wise men follow the star in the writings of the living God, to meet the living God?
It is obvious that for hundreds of years the wisdom from another wise man, Daniel, who knew and served the living God, was still being believed and followed (Number 24:17; Isaiah 60:1-3, Micah 5:2). Even though Daniel lived his life as a prophet of the living God and wise man, he still was a conquered man, under the dark and evil authority of the Babylonian and Persian empires. This was from 605 BC until about 536 BC. Yet, Daniel’s trust was in the living God, not in his circumstances; this enabled him to lead wise men, peoples and even kings to the living God (Daniel 6:19-28). As a prophet, God allowed Daniel to see a future time when the most dark and deceived hearts would follow God’s star to the living God, Jesus Christ. Daniel also knew the living God would take on flesh to die for us (Isaiah 53). Daniel was a remarkable servant of God that changed hearts and kingdoms for God. (Isaiah 9:6-7; Daniel 9:20-27; Hebrews 11:32-12:1-3). We named our first son after Daniel in the Bible.
During this Christmas season remember the Star of Bethlehem - the supernatural light of God's Word - is still there wanting to lead you to a fuller and brighter existence with the living God, Jesus Christ. Make sure you seek Him this Christmas season though His Word, as the wise men sought Him long ago. They knew He was worth their treasures and worship, and their very lives, to find. Is Jesus Christ worth your time and love? You are worth His!
Read Number 24:17; Isaiah 9:6-7, 60:1-3; Daniel 2:47, 3:23-29, 4:34-37, 6:19-28, 9:20-27; Micah 5:2, John 1:1-18, 3:16-21, 12:46. Write down some insights.
The wise men saw God's face as a baby (What an amazing time in history.), and rejoiced exceedingly and worshipped Him. Let us remember, we will see God face to face someday in heaven because He was the babe in the manager. Why shouldn't we be exceedingly joyful thinking of what we have in Him, and of course worship Him.
Because of His star that never fades, Gini