Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked,
"Where is the One who has been born King of the Jews?
We saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him."
Have you ever thought of giving the gift of naming a star after someone? I'm sure you've seen or heard the commercials. It's a pretty unique gift, isn't it? The 'star kit' comes with a sky chart with the newly named star circled in red, and also with precise coordinates. Conceivably it is possible for you to look up into the night sky (escape the light pollution!) and find 'your' star. (Bonus: You can order pet rocks from the same website - no kidding!)
But well before any star registry, what prompted "Magi" (or wise men as they're typically called) "from the east" to name a particular star as "His star," that is the star of "the One born King of the Jews"?
We don't know much about these Magi; the Bible doesn't tell us much. All we know is that they came "from the east," very likely from far beyond the borders of Israel. They evidently had some knowledge of astronomy. More importantly, they had some knowledge of God's promise of a Savior-King. Perhaps they keyed off of a prophecy written long ago by Moses (though spoken by a most unwilling 'prophet' named Balaam): "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." (Numbers 24:17) Most importantly, these non-Jews understood that God's promised "King of the Jews" had come as the Savior of the world, of all peoples, of all nations and nationalities.
Do you see something ironic in their words, "We have come to worship Him"? Do you know what I'm getting at? Well imagine that they never made it to Bethlehem to lay their gifts before Him in worship. If they never saw Him, would that mean that they never worshiped Him? Do you see that worship is what prompted them to come from the east in the first place? Worship is what sustained them through their days or weeks of tracking that star. Worship is what compelled them to come to Jerusalem and then continue on to Bethlehem. The reason they followed "His star" is that it pointed to Him, the One their hearts loved and longed for, the Savior that God had promised, the Savior they knew they needed.
The point is this: They were not content to admire Him from a distance; they had to draw near to their heart's desire.
I pray that you are not content to merely admire Him from a distance.
I pray that you and countless others from the east and west and north and south
are compelled to draw near as you see the One the star points to.
I pray that you see how He meets your heart's deepest need,
so that He becomes your heart's deepest desire.
He is the Savior of the world.
He is the forgiver of your sins.
He is Jesus.
He is yours.
If you live in or around El Paso and do not have a church that you regularly attend, I invite you to visit Christ Our Redeemer. Click here for more information.
See how the blessings of Christmas extend throughout the year to fill your everyday life!
Follow "The ABC's of Christmas" series:
INTRO, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W
Questions or Comments? CLICK HERE TO CONTACT DANIEL.
Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church
Daniel is the Staff Minister at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, El Paso TX.