Some of you may remember life before a GPS. We used these things called paper map or a compass. You of course would have to have somewhat of an idea of where you were going before you started out.
The infamous wise men used the stars as their guide. They were familiar with the prophecies of Jesus, and had been watching the stars for movement, probably for years.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
6 “‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’ ”
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. (Matt. 2:1-12)
Can you imagine this bright star that you’ve never seen before? You would want to get closer to it too, especially if you were familiar with all these prophecies. These Magi didn’t care how far it would take them; they felt so sure of their mathematical calculations and maps that they set off with the stars as their guide.
They are so focused on this star that nothing else deterred them. Their focus brought them to the Lord, and they were able to worship Him, and bring Him gifts to honor Him. The gifts were seen as a huge honor, especially the Frankincense. After learning more about this oil, it’s the essential oil that helps all sorts of ailments. Mary would have been so thrilled and in awe.
As we get closer to Christmas, what star are you following today? Are you focused on the One who gave you life, or are you focused on stars that may disappoint? Spend some time praying through how you can focus on Jesus these last few days before Christmas.
Have more time? Want to go deeper?
- The Magi brought several gifts: Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold. Look up the significance of each gift, and why it would be so significant in this time. How can you relate that to your life right now?
- Do you believe that God used the stars to lead these men? What compass do you find yourself using today?