Without any light, we would all be living ins. There's something about the way lights brighten things up, how they transport us from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from the misery to the mystery.... especially at Christmas time.
Some people and even cities go to a lot of effort to light up their pace at Christmas. But no matter how much is spent on "Christmas" lights, there has never been as big and as beautiful and as mysterious a light at the light that guided the magi (wise men) to the place where Christ was born just over 2000 years ago. When magi from the east traveled to visit Mary, Joseph and, of course, Jesus Christ ("Christ" means messiah) they were guided by a star.
Many of you have heard this story before but we're picking that most have not heard the full story from a scientific perspective as well as a biblical one.
See the video below for some scientific insights on the Bethlehem Star!
(1) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, (2) Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (3) When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. (4) And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. (5) And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
(6) And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
(7) Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. (8) And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. (9) When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. (10) When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. (11) And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (12) And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Where did that star lead the wise men. Unlike many Christmas card nativity scenes, the magi did not visit Jesus with the shepherds when he was a baby in a manger.
The Bible tells us in Matthew 2:11 that when they visited Jesus they came into the HOUSE (not a stable where the shepherds saw baby Jesus). And we read that they saw the YOUNG CHILD (not the baby born that day, which the shepherds saw).
We are also told in Matthew 2:16 that after king Herod (the Roman ruler) spoke to the magi, he ordered all children born in Bethlehem and the surrounding coasts who were TWO YEARS OLD or younger, to be killed. This was because he felt threatened by a prophecy about a child that would be born to be king.
CLICK HERE for a good article on the Bethlehem star. Was it a comet, an alignment, a supernova or something else?
This short 7:14 video outlines one of the most well documented and accepted theories but leaves room for the viewer to come to their own conclusions.
You only have to pick up a news paper or watch the new on TV to understand that this world could do with some light. There is a lot of darkness out there and (if we're willing to admit) in our own lives. The following article discusses a bold statement Jesus made about himself which addresses the problem of darkness.
Question: "What did Jesus mean when He said 'I am the Light of the World' (John 8:12)?"
Answer: “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12) is the second of seven “I AM” declarations of Jesus, recorded only in John’s gospel, that point to His unique divine identity and purpose. In declaring Himself to be the Light of the world, Jesus was claiming that He is the exclusive source of spiritual light. No other source of spiritual truth is available to mankind.
There are two types of light in the world. We can perceive one, or both, or neither! When we are born into this world, we perceive physical light and by it we learn of our Creator’s handiwork in the things we see. However, although that light is good, there is another Light, a Light so important that the Son of God had to come in order to both declare and impart it to men. John 8:12 records, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, ‘I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life.’” The allegory used by the Lord in this verse speaks of the light of His Truth, the light of His Word, the light of eternal Life. Those who perceive the true Light will never walk in spiritual darkness.
We take a candle into a room to dispel the darkness. Likewise, the Light of Jesus Christ has to be taken into the darkness of sin that engulfs the hearts and lives of those who are not following Him. That’s the condition behind having this Light – that we follow Him. If we do not follow Him, we will not have this light, this truth, this eternal life.
Physical light is necessary for physical life. The Earth would certainly change very rapidly if there was no longer any sunlight. A forest full of trees with very thick canopies of foliage high above has very little plant life on the ground except for moss or lichen, which needs little sunlight. Plants will never move away from the light – they are said to be positively phototropic, drawn to the light. In the same way, spiritual light is necessary for spiritual life, and this can be a good test of our standing in Christ. The believer will always tend towards spiritual things; he will always tend towards fellowship, prayer, the Word of God, and so on. The unbeliever always does the opposite (John 1:5, 3:19-20) because light exposes his evil and he hates the light. Indeed, no man can come into the true spiritual light of Jesus Christ, unless He is enabled (John 6:37).
Following Jesus is the condition of two promises in John 8:12. First, His followers will never walk in darkness, which is a reference to the assurance of salvation we enjoy. As true followers of the Light, we will never follow the ways of sin, never live in a state of continually sinning (1 John 1:5-7). Rather, we repent of our sin in order to stay close to the Light. The second promise is that we will reflect the Light of Life. Just as He came as the Light of the World, He commands us to be ‘lights’ too. In Matthew 5:14-16 we see believers depicted as the light of the world. Just as the moon has no light of its own, reflecting the light of the sun, so are believers to reflect the Light of Christ so that all can see it in us. The Light is evident to others by the good deeds we do in faith and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The emphasis here is maintaining a credible and obvious witness in the world, a witness that shows us to be faithful, god-honouring, trustworthy, sincere, earnest and honest in all that we do. Also, we should always be ready to give an account of the hope that we have (1 Peter 3:15), for the gospel Light we have is not to be covered, but made obvious for all to see and benefit from, that they, too, may leave the darkness and come into the Light.
The above article was supplied with permission by our friends at www.gotquestions.org