December 20, 2021
This is a special combined Christmas episode with our sister podcast Apologetics Profile.
When we think of stars today, the first thing that may often come to mind are celebrities, Hollywood stars. If one evening you found yourself underneath the glowing industrial-scale light pollution of Los Angeles, you're probably more likely to see a famous celebrity than any single star in the sky. We are more likely to follow celebrities nowadays than we are stars in the sky.
If you happen to be a professional or amateur astronomer, however, perhaps your interests lie in knowing what stars are made of, their colors, distance from Earth, age, radius, in what constellation they may be found, or if they have a companion.
But why are there any stars in the sky to begin with? Are the uncountable multitude of celestial diadems just a freak accident of nature? Is that just the way the universe is? Is there any deeper purpose or meaning to them beyond just their quantitative, scientific aspects? Modern science cannot answer such questions. Some secular scientists even suggest asking these questions is a waste of time and a fool's errand.
One interpretation of the stars suggests there is no greater meaning than their physical nature. They just exist and that's it. Modern science suggests the atoms in our bodies actually came from the stars and by studying them we can know more about our origins, existence, and future.
Another interpretation is that the stars and constellations hold secrets about our births, our respective personalities and our future, our fate.
Biblically, the stars are creations of Christ. They don't tell us our future. They don't tell us more about ourselves, our personalities, or about what we ought to do with our lives or who we should marry.
They are not finally about us.
Stars, and the heavens in which they reside, all declare the glory of God. They were created for signs and for seasons and for days and years. They were created through Christ Jesus and for Him. They are numbered and named by God Himself. They are silent messengers of divine glory. The LORD Himself told Abram that his descendants would be as the multitude of the stars in the sky. And in Revelation 22:16 Jesus identifies Himself as the "bright and morning Star."
So then it is no surprise that we find reference to a star in Matthew's gospel. A single, silent, enigmatic sign that led wise men, the Magi, to Jerusalem to inquire about He who had been born King of the Jews.
But what was the star? What exactly did the Magi see? Was it an actual astronomical phenomena or a miraculous manifestation of light?
On this special two-part combined Christmas episode of Apologetics Profile and our sister podcast Good Heavens! we discuss the many ideas that have been proposed for what Matthew's star may have been. But more importantly, we offer a reminder of who the star is really all about.
So like the Magi and the shepherds did, come and lift your eyes up on high and see what the star and the angels proclaimed long ago. Come and see wonders await you in discovering Immanuel, God with us, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Wayne Spencer's article on The Star of Bethlehem.
Brady Blevins'' profile on Zoroastrianism.
If you like Good Heavens! be sure to check out our sister podcast Apologetics Profile, also produced and hosted by Dan.
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