The Star

Dec 31, 2023

“Star of wonder, star of night—
Star with royal beauty bright—
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.”

The amazing thing is not so much that God made a star. He created billions of galaxies of them. Or even that a curious light hung over obscure little Bethlehem two millennia ago. Miracles for God are just “business as usual.” But it IS mystifying that God made a celestial body in the sky for the express purpose that certain men should follow it. It is as if God Almighty, with all the delight of a loving parent on Christmas Eve, sneaked down into that sleeping world, and hung that sparkle in the sky … as a clue! A hint. “Keep looking! You’re getting warmer! Just a bit farther … There’s something WONDERFUL waiting! You’ll see!!” That’s what it was—to those wise men, it was HOPE.

There’s been a long debate as to who the “wise men” of Matthew 2 actually were. Some have speculated that they were Jews—likely descendants of the remnant of Jewish scholars that had remained in Babylon after Daniel’s exile there. But that does not seem likely for a couple of reasons. First, though Scripture tells us that Daniel was made “chief of the governors over all of the wise men of Babylon,” as a Jew, he would not have considered himself as ONE with the “magicians and astrologers” (“magi”), nor likely would have his disciples, as the practice of those arts was strictly forbidden by God.

Second, when the wise men arrived in Judea, they asked, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” … the same title that Pilate, a Gentile, later used. It’s odd that, if they really were Jewish scholars, that they were not familiar with the prophecy of Micah. “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2) This suggests that the wise men (magi) were NOT Jews themselves. If they had been, they might have inquired “Where is he that is born the King of Israel?”

Isaiah himself may have given the answer to the dilemma when he prophesied, “the LORD shall arise upon thee … and the GENTILES shall come to thy light, and KINGS to the brightness of thy rising. The multitude of camels … shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. (Isaiah 60 KJV)

It’s therefore more likely, according to Scripture, that the wise men were indeed Gentiles. If that’s the case, those wise men had no right to HOPE … no right at all to receive a covenant blessing from God. They were likely pagan—merely watching for signs in the sky—because, back then, that was what wise and educated men did. They could “read” the skies and were looking for a sign that would reveal the secrets of the universe.

It’s amazing that for this one moment in time, God, who rules the heavens, chose to reveal Himself where the PAGANS were looking! In THEIR field of vision! Why? Because those that had a RIGHT to HOPE … weren’t looking! God put HOPE where the HOPELESS would find it. In a place where no human could hide it or destroy it—in the Heavens! And in so doing, the Creator God led these OUTSIDERS—these ones without a heritage of HOPE—to THE very village, family, and infant that was destined to be the HOPE for the whole world. Jews and Gentiles alike. A miraculous open door of HOPE for everyone.

“Being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having NO HOPE, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one.” (Ephesians 2:12-14 KJV)

If you feel like an outsider—far away, without HOPE in the world—look UP! You’ll not find hope in the world. There is none. Hope is found only by looking above—to the ONE who was sent TO the world—as The LIGHT of the WORLD! Even with the wise men, it was not their own wisdom that guided them—it was rather their choice to be LED and their willingness to OBEY. To follow the signs given to them by a Power higher and wiser than themselves.

Be WISE. Follow the STAR that He has placed in YOUR sky. Let the LIGHT of the WORLD guide YOU into ALL Truth, pointing the way to salvation … and HOPE for the future. FOREVER.