Matthew 2:1 – Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Matthew 2:2 – Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
Matthew 2:3 – When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Hello readers! New blog today… we have seen his star in the east! Well well, this is a familiar story in the Bible, everyone seems to know the story of the birth of Jesus when the three wise men came to the manger and brought their gifts to baby Jesus Christ… and all that. However, it’s more of a fuzzy tradition story that we reacquaint with every 25th of December or so, rather than holding any meaningful significance… rather than practically affecting our lives. But in this story we see the gospel. “We have seen his star in the east”… this story has many applications. In this blog we will see that a saved person abiding in Jesus Christ and walking in the light can be that star, you can be a star for God who is able to lead people to Jesus Christ. If you know the truth, you can and should be able to hold it forth to others. You can shine in a dark place, after all we are meant to be a light in this world. But you can only have light for others if you first have the light yourself, if you have come to Jesus Christ yourself first. You only have truth to offer if you have truth yourself. It is all about Jesus Christ, that is what the Bible is about, it is HIS word and testimony to mankind, and we can be that star that guided those wise men to Jesus. As a side note, it is also interesting that the Bible does not say there were THREE wise men, we are never told the number… it’s not really important either. These wise men represent anyone and everyone who has ever come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ. You are wise if you get saved.
So first of all, let’s look at the wise men. We are told they were wise, and their actions in this story proves that they were indeed wise men. The wise men came seeking. Where is he that is born king of the Jews? They were looking for someone. Before you ever got saved, you were seeking. Jesus said, seek and ye shall find… if you search with all your heart. It’s true. The true seekers find, the ones that didn’t find… well it was because they weren’t really, truly seeking. If the star contained the message of the gospel, which it did, because that star fair and square took them to Jesus… well they saw it because firstly they were looking for it, they were ready for it, and they responded to it. When sharing God’s word, most people aren’t looking for it, ready for it, wanting it… but just occasionally the odd person grabs onto it, because their heart has been prepared by God. Many people did not come to Jesus’ birth, but these guys did. There were lots of people in the east, and in Jerusalem for that matter, but it was only a few wise men who came from afar, from a strange land, who were ready, who were looking, who came seeking. It’s amazing how so few people are seeking and come to truth. So we must seek, it does take God drawing us otherwise we cannot come, but we also must seek. And truly, it was Jesus who first sought us… after all his birth was the Son of God come to seek and save the lost. His reason for being born into this world, God made flesh, was to seek sinners and call them to repentance and faith in himself. Those wise men were in the east, and in darkness, and that star came and shone where they were, and they followed it to Jesus. That star provided them a lot of comfort and joy and light along the way, and found its resting place over the manger of Jesus Christ. That’s the gospel. We have seen his star in the east. It’s why we bother telling people the gospel, because you never know when there is a wise man or woman who is looking for truth in the darkness of this world.
We can see from this story the wise men’s reverence, their humility, the fear that prepared their hearts for this momentous occasion. What more wise thing can one do then seek the Son of God? To seek him and worship and pour out ourselves before him? The manner in which they came was in humility and worship… they brought gifts to Jesus. These gifts also bear great significance worth exploring. Gold represents the deity and purity and value of Jesus Christ. Gold is costly, valuable, but they brought their gold and surrendered it at crib of Jesus… because Jesus Christ is worthy, and they recognized that. He is very valuable, our freedom was a very costly purchase that Jesus’ blood provided for. The other gifts were frankincense and myrrh… which is harvested from their trees in the form of a resin or gum, and which is produced from the trees when they are cut and they literally weep. What the trees weep is very valuable and rendered for a host of purposes like perfume, incense, and in medicine. Jesus is our healing, Jesus causes our prayers to God to be heard, Jesus’s sacrifice was a sweet smelling savor to God. It is incredible because the trees live in such ridiculously hostile, adverse, desert conditions. That is the state of humanity without Jesus Christ, and Jesus was born into this dark, dry, barren, lost world to redeem us from the curse of sin. The frankincense tree is very thorny, and Jesus became sin for us, he took our curse upon himself, and his precious blood shed, much like these trees weep when cut, are the cure for our seemingly hopeless malaise. Frankincense and myrrh have often been used throughout history for pagan religious purposes. Yet these wise men brought frankincense and myrrh as a gift to Jesus, because Jesus is the Creator, he is the way to heaven, he is the one true God, there’s no need to muck around with worshipping the creature when you can worship the Creator. In Psalms, the Bible says let everything that hath breath praise the Lord, humans love to worship creation, and use creation for ungodliness, but creation itself points to Jesus Christ. Creation achieves its true purpose and reality in pointing to and honoring it’s Creator. These trees are cut and weep for what they give and Jesus was beaten, pierced, crucified for us, and out poured his precious blood for us that alone pays for our redemption.
Next, we see that the wise men were in the east, and they saw the star in the east. The location is significant, because in the Bible, east is connected to departure and distance from God. Being in the east is a place of darkness, and that’s where we all start, because we are all born in sin. After man sinned, the cherubims with the flaming swords were placed at the east of the garden of Eden by God to keep the way of the tree of life. The east is very much a place of worldliness, departure from and separation from God, darkness, lostness. In our unrepentant, sinful, natural state that’s what we are, separated from God completely, alienated by our sin. The fall of man was very costly. But stars give light in darkness. And Jesus came to seek and save the lost, and likewise those that believe him can be like that certain, sure star, shining in a dark place, shining in the east, pointing people to Jesus Christ. Darkness is a horrible place to be, and the children of this world sit in darkness, a darkness they have chosen, but darkness nonetheless. That star would’ve been a very, very welcome sight to these men who were watching the skies, who knew the times. No wonder the Bible calls these guys wise men. They are representative of all who get saved, anyone who has been saved is wise. It’s why we should read the Bible and share the Bible, because as the Bible says, it makes us wise unto salvation! In fact 2 Timothy 3:15 – And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. Giving people the Bible, is giving people faith in Jesus Christ, and without faith it impossible to please God. This star lead the wise men to JESUS, and we have to lead people to Jesus by giving them God’s word… because that is leading people to Jesus. God honors his word. His word carries the power and authority of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.
It is important to tell others about Jesus Christ, and you can be that star who will tell people of the world the word of God. You have great light in you if you’ve been saved and if you walk in the Spirit by faith and obedience to him, you have the light of Christ, and that light needs to be shone in the east to invite people to Jesus Christ, just as you were invited. Stars give light in darkness, and we are meant to be lights in a dark world. The gospel is for sinners, Isaiah said… send me! when God said who will go for us? When you get saved you are illuminated, born again by the Spirit of God, that is as the Bible says in 2 Peter… the day star arising in our hearts. When the light dawns in someone’s heart, it is the rising of Jesus Christ in their hearts and minds, giving them light, who has healing in his wings. The light of Christ in you makes you a star in the darkness of this world. These men in the east, saw the star in the east… and as they followed it, it moved and took them to Bethlehem, where Jesus was.
We can be stars, because Jesus Christ is THE Star. He is the Star of Balaam’s prophecy, he is the bright and morning star of Revelation, he is the day star of 2 Peter. As he is, so are we… if we are saved, if we are born again, if we obey him, if we walk in the light. We can be a star for him, because Jesus Christ will use you if you are willing so that others can also be saved. That star guided the wise men so perfectly to Jesus Christ, and we need to guide people to Jesus Christ, not to a load of rubbish, not misdirect, not mislead them. And they can only be fixed and satisfied at the cradle of Jesus Christ. Bethlehem means the house of bread. We need to be taking people to God’s word, which has bread for all, his bread never runs out… ask the five thousand! But while it is important to realize the importance of being a faithful star who have the light and who can take people to Jesus Christ… conversely it is important to realize that the reality is there are many “wandering stars”. Jude speaks of false prophets, false teachers, false men of God, false brethren who are wandering stars. Stars who wander from the truth, who cause others to wander, who just like Cain did, go out from the presence of the Lord unrepentant, unsaved, to a life of wandering. The wise men said we have seen HIS star. Jesus approves those who are his own, it is evident who is real and who is not by what they say and do. God approves his own word, his word has power, give people God’s word and it will stand out because it is that same word that created the heaven and the earth, the same word which brought the flood, and the same word that will judge and sentence at the last. Wandering stars will lead you astray… Jude said that the mist of darkness is reserved forever for those who wander. Do you want to wander in the mist of darkness forever? Or would you rather come to the manger of Jesus Christ? Do you want light or darkness? The baby Jesus Christ was in a manger, well a manger is a feeding trough, it’s where you put the food that the cattle come in and eat out of. Jesus is the food that will actually sustain you. What he does, who he is, well that will satisfy your spiritual thirst fully and forever. He was provided for by God, it was God’s provision of himself for us.
It’s important to notice another character in this story… Herod. They went to Herod, a person who would end up trying to kill Jesus by having all the boys in the realm killed who were two years and under. Their first stop was Herod’s place, not the manger where Jesus was. It is important to realize there are real enemies of the cross, and they do not immediately manifest as enemies. Herod appeared very interested, very genuine, very sincere he said where is Jesus so he could worship him also… but he really wanted to murder Jesus. He wanted to know what God’s word said on the issue, not to get right with God, but to use it to his gain and furtherance. And many people today are interested in God’s word only for what they can get out of it, and how they can use it to justify themselves. But God was ahead of Herod, as he always is. It was only when the wise men left Herod that they saw that same star again, and began following it again. It is important not to get sidetracked. The star was not above Herod, it was above Jesus. Herod could not lead these wise men who were seeking Jesus… to Jesus. Herod was a fake, despite the front he put up, and it was only because they were warned by God that these wise men did not return to him. Watch out for Herod’s because you will find Herod on the way to Jesus Christ.
We have seen his star in the east. So in this blog we see firstly that Jesus Christ is the star, he is the living Word and the written word… what he says is who he is, what he says is perfectly consistent with his identity and character. People miss that fact, that his word is so perfect, infallible, incorruptible, it is the perfect representation of Jesus Christ. That’s how we see Jesus, through the words of the scripture with the illumination of the Holy Spirit of God who always honors Jesus Christ. Jesus and his word is a sure light in a dark place, and it shines in the world today and anybody who is wise will come and find a relationship and fellowship with God for themselves. These wise men FOUND. They got assurance, they knew, their journey was not in vain. Just like Jesus is the star, so we if we are saved, can be stars reflecting his glory, his truth to others who need salvation just like we did and do. We should be able to, and want to lead others to Jesus Christ, take them to Jesus, give them his word, give them something of real value. And finally, if you are unsaved, you can be like the wise men in this story, if you are seeking, if you want truth, well the truth is in God’s word, they found it there, and that’s why there were wise. They sought and found, because they were truly looking for truth, they were looking for Jesus Christ. It takes the spiritual illumination from God to come to Jesus, because unless you are born again you cannot see, let alone enter the kingdom of God. But God’s word has power, and hopefully God’s word ministers to your heart the truth of the gospel. Jesus said have faith in God, take him at his word. God wants us to take him at his word, it pleases him, and taking him at his word is called faith. We have see his star in the east… have you?