9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. (Matthew 2:9-10)
Firstly, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas.
So, we know from these two verses that the Magi were led by a star. They had actually followed it for a long time already before they saw King Herod. But, something seems different now. They had assumed that the star was taking them to a palace, but the star carried on. The star passed the palace and then guided them straight to Bethlehem and stopped over the place that Jesus was.
We often imagine that these events happen so that by the time the Magi arrive baby Jesus is in the manger. Although, even in these verses, it’s not clear. It seems to me that a clue to this is that Matthew changes from ‘baby’ to ‘child’ when describing Jesus. Anyway, whether the Magi visited Jesus as a baby laid in a manger, or as an older child, that’s not the focal point for this post.
The heading might seem somewhat confusing, so let me explain. In TV shows, films, books and other forms of media, there is ‘the star of the show’. In these verses, we usually place a big emphasis on the star. This is the star’s big moment, isn’t it? This is the part of the nativity play where the ‘star’ is centre stage. But, my question for you on this Christmas Day is: who is the real star? I’m very glad that we’ve reached this part of the story today. When the Magi saw the star, they were overjoyed. If we change the emphasis and the meaning, we could imagine, or even have faith, that there is joy to be found in seeking and finding Jesus. I hope you discover, or re-discover that joy for yourself this Christmastime.