So what exactly was the “star” that the Magi saw? Was it a star? Was it Jupiter? Was it a particular constellation? Was it a comet? Was it the northern lights? Was it an optical illusion? There has been all kinds of speculation regarding the star because the Bible does not give us much detail. Only 12 verses in the entire Bible are devoted to the story of the Wise Men. (Matthew 2:1-12)
Three separate people in the past week approached me, asking if I’ve heard how it’s been proven that the star which the Magi followed was a natural occurrence. What really drives me crazy is how man always tries to rely on human reasoning in an attempt to explain things that are inexplicable. Man goes through great lengths to give a scientific explanation to a miraculous event. However, scientific explanations are impossible because a miraculous event cannot be explained! According to scientific reasoning, a miracle is impossible. A miracle is an event that alters or defies the laws of nature and the laws of science. Science says that it’s impossible for a bush to burn without burning up. Science says it’s impossible that a flood covered the entire earth. Science says that it’s impossible to walk on water. Science says that it’s impossible to immediately heal someone born blind, or deaf, or deformed. Science says it’s impossible to bring someone back from the dead. According to science, there is some natural explanation to all this.
Using human reasoning and scientific theory to explain a miraculous event ultimately results in one thing - removing God from the picture. This can be seen most clearly in the evolution verses creation debate. Similarly, I’ve heard of scientists explaining, with all seriousness, how the Jordan River was parted by Joshua (Joshua 3:13) - that is was not by a miracle, but by a combination of wind and water levels. Once I heard a radio show which focused on the power of prayer. Yes, they admitted there is power in prayer. But do you know why they said prayer worked? It was simply because of the power of the mind and not the power of God at all. Their explanation was that the power of prayer had nothing to do with the spiritual, but the mental instead. You see, they took God out of the picture. Don’t fall for it. Don’t be persuaded by some smooth talking, intelligent sounding, self-proclaimed expert.
So every Christmas, I hear of someone falling for a scientist who claims that after extensive research, he can prove without a doubt that the star of Bethlehem was a naturally occurring celestial event. Don’t believe it! Don’t be deceived by fine sounding arguments. God shall not be mocked. Regardless of the books impressively written, the smoothly produced TV shows, and the extensive internet sites saying otherwise, the Christmas story was totally a God-thing. His hand is all over it. Nine times in the Christmas story, angels are involved. Several Old Testament prophecies come to fulfillment in the Christmas story. Providence is demonstrated throughout the timeline of the birth of Jesus.
For all the scientific explanations saying that the star was some natural phenomena, there are mysteries still not sufficiently answered by science. Could it be that most of those who give scientific explanations don’t seem to know their Bible facts? According to the Bible, the star led the Magi twice, in different directions, and at separate times (see my earlier posts). How can a natural star first lead the Magi in a westerly direction toward Jerusalem. Then later, weeks or perhaps months, or maybe even a year later, appear again to lead them in another direction, from Jerusalem toward Bethlehem? And get this - how can a natural star move ahead of them and then stop? - stopping right over the house Jesus was staying, acting as a beacon for the Wise Men? (Matthew 2:9)
So was the star of Bethlehem just a star? The answer.....NO! The two sightings of the star by the Magi were both miraculous events - in each case, a sign from heaven - a supernatural beacon. Don’t even try to persuade me otherwise! I’m done listening to all these natural explanations. That’s because I believe that there is a spiritual reality, that God is real, that He intervenes, that His providence is real, that His Word is true, and that miracles really happen. And I’m sticking with it!