Sunday, December 16, 2018

How Could the Bethlehem Star Stop Over a House?

We all know the Christmas story about the wise men from the east following the star to Bethlehem. "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 they came into the house and saw the Child" (Matt. 2:,9,11). Was this a literal star that they followed? Let's think about that.

How could a literal star go before them and stop over a house? The heat from a star would have burned up the house, not to mention the entire planet. Some people think the star was millions of miles away and it just looked like it was over the house from the wise men's vantage point. However, if the wise men had walked around to the back door instead of the front door, the star would have been behind them and not over the house. The star must have been something else.

Many Bible scholars believe it was a supernatural phenomenon—that God created what looked like a star to lead them to the Messiah. He did something similar to this in the Old Testament when He led the children of Israel through the wilderness by cloud and by fire. "The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night" (Ex. 13:21). 

Others believe the star may have been a brilliant angel that led them to the house. Angels are also called stars in Scripture (See Rev. 1:20, 9:1, 12:4,7-9, Job 38:7, Isa. 14:12). Since a host of angels appeared to the Jewish shepherds to announce where the child would be found (Luke 2:11-12), God may have used an angel to lead these Gentiles from a foreign country to find Him. This would explain how the star moved and knew where to stop at the correct location.

By the way, the wise men didn’t come to the manger on the night He was born but sometime later. When they arrived, Joseph and Mary had moved into a house (Matt. 2:11). But don’t get upset when you see the wise men depicted in a manger scene display. It’s not a theological problem and the manger scene reminds us that Jesus came for both Jews and Gentiles.
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Making Life Count Ministries
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Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174  Twitter: @KentCrockett