Following a Star and Finding the Saviour

Matthew 2:1-12

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, “Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw His star when it rose and have come to worship Him.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a Ruler who will Shepherd my people Israel.’”
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way
. (ESV)


This passage helps us to understand who the Babe born in Bethlehem was.
What or who are we following? We must follow Christ and the paths of righteousness by following the revelation of God, who has revealed Himself not only in the Word, but also in creation (see Psalm 19). You can see the glory of God in the heavens. Man had all kinds of ideologies, but they were misleading. They weren’t directing people to Christ.
Are you showing people how the winds are blowing? The Pharisees didn’t show the wind well. They had the Lord’s special revelation in their hands but couldn’t be led by it to the Saviour. If we follow the Word we will find Him.
The sages were guided by the stars by the One whose Glory they declare – the Lord Jesus Christ.
The religious leaders deceived their people and attempted to kill the Saviour when He was a Child.
The Bible addresses people who follow the devil, the world and the flesh with different motives
The Magi fell at His feet to worship Him. Herod said he wanted to worship Jesus, but he wanted to kill Him, proven by the later killing of baby boys under 2 years.

  1. The Guided Sages (wise men)
    The Magi were mysterious figures who visited the baby Jesus. Tradition suggest they were wise astronomers. An exact time is not given but it occurred ±2 years after Jesus’ birth.
    a. Their Pilgrimage
    They saw God declared in the heavens and understood the significance, looked at the star and followed it to the Messiah. They must have known something of the Him. We need a divine revelation of God – like the heavens declaring His glory.
    b. Their Persistence
    They travelled so far without knowing if they would find an answer, but they persisted to find Him, following His story and pursuing a glorious purpose.
    c. Their Purpose
    They came to worship Him, to fall at His feet. We must worship Him, letting go of our wills.

  2. The Godless Sovereign (Herod)
    a. His Informants – the religious leaders!
    b. His Iniquity – he had no awareness of what is right and wrong about himself; whereas the Magi were guided by something else other than the world, their passions, the devil, the world, and the flesh. On the other hand, Herod was hunger for power and wanted to eliminate any potential threat; see Isaiah 10v1-2.
    c. His Enquiry – to the misguided scribes in v4. See Micah 5v1-4, Mat. 23, Mat. 15v7-9).
    d. His Intention – sent the Magi to find Jesus and bring Him so that he could kill Him.

  3. The Guiding Star
    They followed the star, and it guided them to the Lord Jesus so that they could witness and honour the newborn King.
    a. The Rising Star – it rose and went before them.
    b. The Resting Star – it finally rested on the God of Glory where He lay with His family; then they brought their gifts: Gold, Incense and Myrrh.
    c. The Rejoicing Sages – they were filled with wonder witnessing Jesus and His mother and seeing the King of glory. They fell down and worshipped Him and offered their treasures which bore symbolic meaning.

  4. The Glorious Saviour
    a. The Wonder – they saw the Child with Mary His mother. Can you imagine how wonderful it was for them? They saw the King of Israel, the Saviour of the world – the great Prophet like Moses, the Priest after the order of Melchizedek, without beginning and end, the Lamb without blemish slain before the foundation of the world and the Great King on great David’s throne – right there with His mother – O the wonder!
    b. The Worship – they fell down and worshipped Him, opening their treasures and offering Him Gold (pointing to Jesus’ Kingship) Frankincense (reminds of His Priestly role) and Myrrh (foreshadows His sacrificial death as the incarnate word of God). Their gifts foreshadowed key aspects of Jesus’ identity, namely His redemptive offices of Prophet, Priest and King.
    c. The Way – Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
    Jesus is not a road sign – He is the road! The Magi was warned and then returned home by another way, which has spiritual meaning: When you have met Jesus Christ of Bethlehem, your way will change away from the world and its plots to kill and destroy Him! You will follow Jesus.

Who are you following? Is the Lord Jesus Christ Your way?