“Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we saw his star in the east…” (Matthew 2:2, ASV).
Only the gospel of Matthew mentions the Star of Bethlehem, the star that hovered for days over Bethlehem and led the Magi to the child Jesus. That star has been a source of research and speculation since Christ was born. For ages, the questions have been: Was the star Christian fiction? A fulfillment of prophecy (Numbers 24:17)? A natural celestial occurrence? Or was it a special sign sent by God?
Astronomers have delved into the history of unusual heavenly occurrences during the years surrounding the birth of Jesus. Some think the Star of Bethlehem was produced when two planets such as Jupiter and Saturn lined up. Others thought it was a meteorite or a comet. Yet some believed it to be a hypernova or stellar explosion. Some of these events occurred around the time of Christ’s birth, but not close enough to be considered the cause of the bright star. Also, the events that happened did not meet the qualifications of the Star of Bethlehem. For example, a comet would not stand still in one place.
We as Christians and Bible believers can be certain about some qualities of the Star. It was real. Probably thousands of people saw it. It stood over Bethlehem where Jesus was prophesied to be born (Micah 5:2). It signified the birth of a King.
In spite of all the research astronomers have done, they are mystified about the origin and makeup of the Star. The only valid explanation is that the Star of Bethlehem was a mighty sign from God that His Son had come into the world to redeem humanity from sin. Christ is the Star that lights our way to heaven.
Hymn: “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are awed by Your Gift to the world. May we share His light for all to see. In Jesus’ name. Amen.