Bible Reading: Matthew 2:1-12
One of the most fascinating stories connected with the Christmas story is the star that led the Magi to the infant Jesus.
They were led to Bethlehem by a special star. Most commentators say that it was not a natural phenomenon such as comet or a supernova but rather a supernatural sign in the sky. Way back in Genesis we read that God placed lights in the heavens not just to control the seasons but also as signs [Genesis 1:14]. The star that led the Magi to Jesus is specifically called “His star” [Matthew 2:2]. The coming of Jesus was a supernatural event, so why should supernatural signs not also accompany it. Peter, quoting from the prophet Joel, on the Day of Pentecost spoke of signs in the heavens before the second coming of Jesus [Acts 2:19-20]. One of the signs in the heavens in the last days will be the moon turning to blood. Remarkably, before every major spiritual event the moon has turned red, and in 2014 it happened four times. This has been thoroughly researched by Derek Walker in his book, “Signs in the Heavens.”
The star that the Magi followed was actually prophesied in the Old Testament and the Magi, who were probably astrologers from Babylon would have had knowledge of that through the Jews who remained in Babylon after the captivity of the Jews in 586 BC. “A Star shall come out of Jacob and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel” in Numbers 24:17 is believed by some to be a prophecy about Jesus. The star and scepter are symbols of kingship. The Hebrew word star in Numbers 24:17 is ‘kōkāb’ which is sometimes translated as ‘Messiah.’ The Jews were constantly watching for their Messiah, the One who would be called the King of the Jews, and the Magi would almost certainly have known this fact. When they saw that star they knew that something very special was happening and they came to Bethlehem to find the King!
God may not lead us by a star but he equally gives us signs, words and people who point us to this same King, and He promises that those who seek Him will find Him. Those who seek Him will not be turned away.
God led the Magi to Jesus by a star, but how does He bring people to Jesus today? If you have had a personal encounter with Jesus what was it that God used to bring you to Him?
The Magi were alert to the sign God gave in the heavens. What are the signs that Jesus is coming a second time? [see Matthew 24:1-28; Acts 2:19-20; 2 Timothy 3:1-9] and what should our response be?