BY DAVID DANIELS
It is estimated that there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy and 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to earth, is 4.243 light-years or almost 25 trillion miles away. Sirius, the brightest star seen from earth, is twice the size of our sun. If you observe Sirius in the night sky, the light you see left the glowing sphere eight and a half years ago. Such majesty. So many stars. So much brilliance.
One made all the difference in the world.
The baby announcement for Jesus wasn’t delivered in the mail but displayed in the heavens. Matthew writes, “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him’” (Matthew 2:1-2). Persian astrologers noticed a cosmic phenomenon wooing them west to Jerusalem and then south to the manger. This celestial compass was God’s way of inviting, not just a few foreigners, but the whole world to meet His Son.
The wonder of the Bethlehem star is that it proves God’s enduring commitment to reveal Himself and His plans to the world.
Skeptics argue that God never provides sufficient proof of His existence. He leaves people grasping in the dark, having to rely on blind faith to believe. In The Jesus I Never Knew, even Christian author Phillip Yancey admits,
“My faith suffers from too much freedom, too many temptations to disbelieve. At times I want God to overwhelm me, to overcome my doubts with certainty, to give final proofs of his existence and his concern. I want a God without ambiguity, One to whom I can point for the sake of my doubting friends.”
When I was a child, I sat in my bedroom staring at a glass of water on my desk. “God, make the glass move,” I dared. It’s not that I didn’t believe, I just felt like the man who confessed to Jesus, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). If God would just move the glass a half-inch, that would be enough to cinch my faith.
Fortunately, God does provide many signs—revelation to point to who He is, His Son and His work in the world. First, God reveals Himself in the SKY. Contemporary astronomers have debated whether the star at Christmas was actually a star at all. Some have speculated that it was a supernova; a comet; or the conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and Mars. Whatever it was, it was visible to all.
Psalm 19:1 tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” The fingerprints of God are all over creation. Paul writes that, from the beginning, God has been showing Himself through what has been made (Romans 1:20). The majesty of stars scattered across the sky, the breathtaking awe standing atop the Continental Divide, the thunderous power of Niagara Falls, the exquisite beauty of the Gossamer butterfly—all of this reveal something about our God.
Second, God reveals Himself in SCRIPTURE. For the Magi, the star made them curious, but the ancient Scriptures confirmed the truth, giving them specific directions (see Matthew 3:5-6). The Bible is a remarkable document—written by 40 authors, on three continents, over 1500 years, in three languages—yet consistent and accurate in everything it records. God has given people a living and lasting record of truth so that we may know Him and the way of truth.
Third, God reveals Himself in His SON. The Bible is the written Word of God and Jesus is the living Word of God (John 1:1). When a disciple asked, “Show us the Father,” Jesus replied, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:8-9). The writer of Hebrews explains, “in the past” God revealed Him- self through prophets at many times and in various ways, but in recent times He has revealed Himself through His Son, who is God on earth (Hebrews 1:1-3). When God wanted to show Him-self, He sent Jesus.
Finally, God reveals Himself through His SPIRIT. When we place our faith in Jesus, He puts His Spirit in us to reveal more and more of Himself. Jesus said, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).
These are not the only ways that God reveals Himself. But what we can see is that He does wish to make Himself known generally, scripturally, personally, and spiritually. And those who see the signs and follow them in faith are sure to discover the joy of Jesus. The chorus of “We Three Kings” confirms the blessing of trusting God’s signs:
Oh, star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light!
Follow The Star
Most people missed the celestial announcement of Jesus, though it was in plain sight for all to see. Don’t miss God revealing Himself to you today. Sometimes, asking the simple questions, “Who are You, Lord?” and “What do You want me to do?” is enough to open our eyes and ears and heart to something new. Open your Bible to a place where the pages may still be stuck together and read a fresh word. Pray about something other than the usual grocery list of requests and see how God might open your heart to something that’s on His heart. Look around you and let the created order teach you about the marvelous Creator. Close your eyes and open your ears. If the Spirit of God lives in you, He will speak and show you what is true. God promises, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13) and, when He does, you need only to follow the star.
“The Wonder Of the Star” is an excerpt from Wonder: Advent Meditations On The Miracle of Christmas–a 31-day devotional released this month by David Daniels. David is Lead Pastor of Central Bible Church in Fort Worth. He can be reached at wearecentral.org Wonder is available on Amazon.com.
“I am honored and excited to feature my brother-in-law’s new Devotional just in time for the Christmas season! David Daniels, you are loved and we appreciate your service to our Lord Jesus.” – Publisher Living Magazine Misty Daniels