I pray we are all ‘Joining The Wise Men’. They saw the supernatural work of God and they wanted details. This ‘Star’ was no normal occurrence; A miracle that makes Jonah look explainable. They knew what the set up of the stars was, Christ’s Star was outside the natural. These guys were Astronomers, they studied the stars…they knew what should be where at certain times of the year. They had seen the normal stars, so this one stood out…They were willing to believe miracles can happen, are you?
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
- About that time…actually TWO YEARS after Christ was born!
Men’ = Magi / Astronomers (Two Places they came from)
(As descendants of Ishmael they would know scripture)
- Facade on the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
- Persians (Descendants of people led by Daniel, they would know scripture)
- Arabs (As descendants of Ishmael they would know scripture)
- Came to Jerusalem; general location of Star (not visible when they arrive)
was foretold: Numbers 24:17 “I see him, but not now; I behold
him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will
rise out of Israel…”
- Messianic prophecy, they found the scripture once they had seen the star
- This whole process of figuring it our may have taken a while, then to travel…
- They showed up asking about ‘The King of the Jews’ who had been born
3 King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. 4 He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?” 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said…
- Herod was disturbed because he was an ‘Illegitimate King’! (everybody knew it)
- Knowing they spoke of the Messiah, he consulted the experts on Scripture
- The exact location was to be Bethlehem…
“for this is what the prophet wrote: 6 ‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’” (Micah 5:2 & 4)
- Maji would know of Numbers (1300 BC) but not of Micah (700BC)
- Bethlehem was David’s hometown
7 Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. 8 Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”
- Herod doing everything on the sly
- “Find him for me so I can kill him, um, I mean worship him”
9 After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!
- Why were they filled with Joy? They were in the right place!
- What was this ‘Star’? Perhaps The Shechinah Glory of God
- It came and went some… not a normal star
- Being where God is working fills you with joy!
11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
- House, not stable
- Three gifts, but we don’t know how many guys
- Gold for a King / Frankincense used by Priests / Myrrh to embalm the dead
- The three gifts underline the Messiah’s offices as prophet, priest and king.
12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.
- They listen to God not Herod
- They had played their role: to give credence to what God was doing
13 After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
- Joseph had experience with ‘God Dreams’ and knew what to do
- Herod would be a threat (because he was threatened) until he died
14 That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother, 15 and they stayed there until Herod’s death. This fulfilled what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: “I called my Son out of Egypt.” (Hosea 11:1)
- More prophecy connected to Jesus’ life
16 Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance.
- Since his plot to secretively find the Messiah had been thwarted he went big
- This is how we know the wise men were not there at the birth of Christ
- It was two years later!
How do you react to something that is beyond explanation (Miracles) in your life?
What are ways you can follow some ‘Wisemen’ to be where God is working?
How might you specifically be willing to take chances and be persistent to see God working?
Why might there be a connection between miracles you have seen and your belief in miracles?
The conclusion about the Star of Bethlehem: It cannot be explained by science. It was a special, supernatural light created by God just as we are, to be a celebratory sign of the birth of His Son made man. Simply put, it was a miracle of light to herald a miraculous virgin birth of the One sent to save us. Hallelujah!