Star Light, Star Bright

November 5, 2019
Mark Kolchin

“We have seen His Star… and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2

In my younger years, I spent a lot of time looking at the night sky through my relatively inexpensive but adequately-empowered amateur telescope. I was fascinated with what this basic astronomical apparatus could bring in from the heavens above. I still remember as if it were yesterday, when I focused on the planet Saturn and saw with my own eyes the famous rings that encircled it. What excitement, what joy! I remember thinking how it was worth all the time and the effort for that ecstatic moment. My wonder years had yet another eye-opening experience – there really was a planet named Saturn and it really did have rings just as the science books said.

The Journey Commences

When the wise men began their journey to find the King of the Jews, they also had an ecstatic moment when their search came to an end. All they had to go on was a number of prophecies, most likely from Daniel who had uttered them in the land from which they came. Daniel was not silent in his witness, though at times it cost him dearly (see Dan. 6). His testimony was clear and was probably the means which prompted this group of men to make the long, arduous journey across the arid wilderness to find the Christ Child (Mt. 2). God had provided a “star” with Daniel and then another special star to guide these Gentile inquirers, whose journey was certainly buttressed by Old Testament prophecy (Num. 24:17). This star was not a planet, since it traveled in an opposite path across the night sky. It was not a conjunction of the planets or even a supernova, else everyone would have seen it. It was God’s divine provision for these men who took God’s Word seriously and acted upon it.

The Journey Continues

When they arrived in Jerusalem, they asked the question “Where is He who was born King of the Jews?” The context implies that they asked this question repeatedly. This is quite strange considering the fact that two years earlier the shepherds came with haste to Bethlehem to see the Lord and afterwards “made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child” (Lk. 2:17). It highlights the ignorance of the general population of the things of God right down to the present day, despite the abundance of revelation. Later, Herod secretly summoned the wise men after he had been informed by his chief priests and scribes of the exact location of the Lord’s birth, though they did not make the journey. Their actions highlight the widespread indifference to the claims of Christ shown by some even though they have enough facts in hand. Herod’s request to have the wise men bring back word to him that he might “worship Him also” underscores the insincerity of many others. The wise men however demonstrated true interest, indicative of hearts which are diligent in finding the One who would bring their search to an end – just as the Lord promises to all those who call upon Him in truth ( Jer. 29:11-13).

The Journey Concludes

The wise men’s journey which resulted in great joy is the same pattern for any who would also find the Savior today. Their direction was right – they turned their back on their old life and followed God’s leading that drew them ever closer to finding Him. Their diligence was right – they never stopped searching, despite hitting dead ends along the way. Their devotion was right – they demonstrated the faith that brings true joy. How was that devotion evidenced? The object of their devotion was correct; they worshipped Christ, not Mary (v. 11). The order of their devotion was correct; they worshipped Him before opening their treasures. The outcome of their devotion was correct; they “went home another way” with an exciting story to tell (v. 12).

At this time of year when so many are mindlessly celebrating the birth of the One whom they do not know, let’s remember that there are some in this world who looking for Him will bring their search for joy and gladness to an end. Perhaps like Daniel, you will be that “star” that will be used of the Lord to help that ecstatic moment come about.