The Star of Bethlehem

In the beginning, the Spirit of God hovered over the dark, formless void. And God said, “Let there be light.” There was no sun, no moon, no stars, only random chaos with light emanating from none other than God Himself. Other places in Scripture we are told, “God is light. In Him there is no darkness at all.” (I John 1:5) So at the beginning of the universe, the beginning of the space-time continuum, God begins emanating light in all directions. Behold the glory of God!

Angels sang (Job 38:4-7) as earth was created in full technicolor, glorious in all the realms of the universe with galaxies and stars and planets innumerable. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1-4;14) The very breath of God going forward in words was the action of Jesus forming life and holding all the molecules together through the power of His will. “For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28) and “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:17)

And people beheld the glory of God in the face of Christ. “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6) But was that glory visible? The face of Jesus could not have been shining with light, or everyone would have recognized Him as God. So He left His light glory behind, setting aside His mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. (Philippians 2:5-7)

And at the moment of His birth, a strange emanation of light was seen above where He was born, bright enough to be seen by astrologer magicians in faraway countries that had heard a prophecy that a King would be born when a strange light emanation (unlike a star) was seen. The magi packed up and traveled on the road for about two years (thousands of miles) until they arrived at the “house” where Jesus was. So the light emanation above Jesus remained there just long enough to lead the magi to the King, and then we hear no more about it. I wonder how those magician’s lives were affected, and why it was so important that those three men follow the star when no one else did.

I heard a sermon by John MacArthur over a decade ago, where he stated that the star was actually the glory of God. He used Scripture to support his view, pointing out that the star was moving, which means it couldn’t have been a real star. It “went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was.” (Matthew 2:9) Ever since then, I have been mesmerized by the star. I, too, want to follow.

Matthew 2:9b-11a: “And lo, the star which they had seen in the east went on before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And when they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him…”

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2 Responses to “The Star of Bethlehem”

  1. 🙂 We just learned this year about light existing before the heavenly bodies. I mean, I’d read the Creation account dozens of times, but it wasn’t until we were reading Purposeful Design, which we reviewed last month that “the light went on” for me. 😉

    You refer to the 3 wise men. However, the Bible doesn’t actually tell how many wise men there were. We only know how many gifts they brought.

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