Explaining the Christmas Star

Even the major news networks are explaining the “Christmas Star,” the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn that many were able to see on December 21. The planets got closer together than they had been in 800 years. I find it interesting that people who go to such lengths to discredit the Bible try to explain what the special star in the biblical text might have been.

The Christmas Star has been explained away throughout the decades. Perhaps it was a comet—and that is why it appeared to move.

Maybe it was a meteor zooming by.

This year, it could have been the “Great Conjunction.”

The Bible prophesies Jesus’ coming: I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel (Numbers 24:17a). The star actually seems to be a metaphor for Jesus.

When the star indeed appeared, the wise men recognized it as the star that represented the birth of the Messiah. They said to Herod, 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 2:2).

As we know, Herod believed the wise men. He asked when the star appeared and plotted to kill all the baby boys, so that his kingdom would not be threatened.

The wise men left the palace, and something amazing happened: lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy (Matthew 2:9-10).

They recognized the re-appearance of this special star, and it moved, guiding them to the house where Jesus lived. It moved and then hovered over that specific house. It must have appeared just above that house, because it doesn’t make sense otherwise.

All the explanations of conjunctions, bright stars, comets, meteors, and all the rest do not match what actually happened.

The wise men:

  • actually saw a star and knew its meaning.
  • went for a time not seeing the star.
  • saw the star again when they exited Herod’s palace.
  • followed the star, which led them to the place where Jesus was.
  • prostrated themselves, worshipped the Child, and offered Him gifts. (Matthew 2:11)

What does the star mean for us, today?

I find several spiritual lessons in this story:

  • People who know the Scriptures recognize miracles when they see them.
  • Real wisdom requires action. These men left and acted upon what they knew. They sacrificed time, energy, and treasure to seek Jesus.
  • God will lead those who seek Him. But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul (Deuteronomy 4:29).
  • Jesus deserves our worship. When historical people saw Jesus, they prostrated themselves (the wise men, Abraham, Isaiah, lepers, the healed lady, and even demon-possessed people). In the Book of Revelation, when the Lamb (Jesus) takes the book, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him.
  • We owe Him our effort and service. Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:24).
  • Giving as unto the Lord actually stores up treasure in heaven. Jesus said, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21).
  • Meeting King Jesus is humbling.

The planets aligning themselves were not the Star of Bethlehem. That special star has never been repeated. Besides, God calls it a star. Planets together are not stars. God is the Creator of the universe, and we can trust Him to label His handiwork correctly. God produced a miracle for the purpose of guiding people to Jesus, just as He did with the shepherds a year or two before. Remember the angelic announcer and the multitude of angels and great light?

Jesus, the Light of the World, was announced to the world with shining light. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 5:11).