Did you see the star? Over the last few days there has been a great deal of talk about the rare convergence of Saturn and Jupiter in the night sky. The appearance of this Christmas Star stirred lots of discussion and a little debate over whether it was the same star that the wise men followed to Bethlehem.

Matthew records for us the story of the magi and their most unusual GPS…

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him…the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy” (Matthew 2:1-2, 9-10).

Scientists and theologians on both sides of the issue have made their case for why the star may or may not be the same one we see today. Certainly the God who made all of the stars could have used any one of them He wanted, in any way He wanted! Yet it would seem that this star was under special orders, moving only at certain times and in a certain direction. It is my conviction that the star they followed was God’s messenger and a miracle. This was no ordinary star.

Permit to make two observations from Scripture that will help us to understand the star and its significance…

  • 700 years before Bethlehem God told the prophet that wise men would follow the light of His glory. Isaiah 60:1-3 predicted, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” Could it be that the star they followed was in fact just a glimmer of God’s glory radiating in the heavens? The same Christ who pulled back the robe of humanity and gave the disciples a glance of His glory on the mount of Transfiguration could surely pull back the veil of heaven and reveal a little of His own light!
  • Jesus Christ is identified in Scripture as “the morning star” (2 Peter 1:19; Revelation 22:16). The morning star is the first light of the new day, the brightest light in a dark sky. When Jesus Christ came to earth He came as the Light of God in a world darkened by sin. He ushered in the dawn of a new day – the day of grace. I believe that star in the eastern sky simply was, like John the Baptist, a forerunner of the One to whom it pointed.

I did not get a good glimpse of the Christmas Star this year because of where we were geographically, but I am happy to report that I have had a glimpse of the only real Star in the Christmas story – the Lord Jesus Christ! THAT Star still shines!

The light of God’s glory and the light of God’s guidance continues to light the way for all who will follow. His light doesn’t stop at Christmas. The Star still shines and sheds light on the path ahead. Follow Him into the new year…


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