This article is based on a message from Matthew 2:1-12 from a series on the light of Christmas.
I’m beginning to preach a series of Christmas-oriented messages at Bethel on the theme of Light. It will consist of three messages…
- The Light of the Knowledge of God. God wants for us to know Him, so He has revealed enough light that we might pursue a knowledge of Him.
- The Light of the Glory of God. The shepherds beheld a myriad of angels and the glory of God and I think it dramatically changed their lives forever.
- The Light of the Salvation of God. As Isaiah said, “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
How God Guided the Wise Men
There are a lot of details we don’t really know about these wise men. It’s funny how we’ve managed to write a lot of songs about them and portray them in manger scenes when actually, quite a few of the details are still a mystery. For example…
- We don’t know exactly where they came from – probably Persia, but we’re not totally sure.
- We don’t know how many there were – at least two, but maybe more.
- They weren’t “kings” as far as we can tell.
- They probably weren’t actually in the manger scene, but showed up later while Joseph and Mary were living temporarily with some relatives in a house in Bethlehem.
And, we don’t know what kind of star they followed. There have been plenty of speculations. I’ve read theories that they were really following some ancient astrological pointers. I’ve also read that they were astronomers and used ancient prophecies to understand the general location of this king, and the stars themselves like a map to Jerusalem.
Personally, I tend to think there is a connection between these kings and the book of Daniel. Daniel lived in a time of transition between the ancient Babylonian kingdom and the Persian kingdom. He became a person of tremendous influence and wrote about how God had revealed to Him the prophecy of the 70 weeks, which would indicate a general time period during which the King of kings would have lived in Jerusalem.
Charles Spurgeon tended to think that the “star” was simply a miraculously provided instrument of divine guidance. Ultimately, he’s right no matter what the light was literally. And that’s the point – God guided these wise men into a knowledge of Himself and His Son, and they were wise in responding to that light and seeking more truth, for it brought them face to face with the Savior of the world.
God Always Sheds Light On Himself
This is part of the nature and character of God – to reveal Himself. Hebrews 1:1-2 tells us that God has revealed Himself in a myriad of ways, culminating in the incarnation of Jesus as the Son of God.
God has revealed Himself through events, miracles, circumstances, angels, direct communication (with the patriarchs), the law, Theophanies, the apostolic signs, and to and through the authors of Scripture, which is ultimately our greatest and most complete revelation of God today.
God Has Given You Light As Well
God has reached out to you. Even if never before, you are reading this today because of His purpose and will for your life. He wants you to know Him. He wants you to seek Him – to respond to the light by asking for more light, by approaching Him to receive Him.
God has revealed to the world (and is still spreading the truth through missions today) that He has sent His one and only begotten Son, to die for the penalty of our sins and to rise again from the dead, that we might look to Him for the forgiveness of our sins and the eternal salvation He freely offers. He has revealed that you can come to Him and by simple faith, trust Him as your Savior forever.