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He counted me faithful,
putting me into the ministry.
The True Star of Christmas
The True Star of Christmas
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, 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. .. 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. .. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. .. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: ... (Matthew 2:1, 2, 9-11)
... there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, .. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion (Numbers 24:17, 19)
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)
At Christmas time each year, we typically see a "cast of characters" in the church, in the community, and at many homes; or perhaps we hear of many of them in sermons, songs, and poems. We see Zacharias and Elisabeth, Joseph and Mary, the babe (or "baby Jesus") in a manger, the angels and the shepherds, the wise men and "the star", Herod and the religious leaders in Jerusalem, and, Simeon and Anna. Without all these important characters, the Christmas story just wouldn't be complete.
It is entirely possible though, that many get their attention fixed upon one or other of the "stars" of Christmas and thus become diverted from the truly greatest Star of all. And, I do not mean only at Christmas time, but throughout the entire year. While we should give a certain amount of attention and study to all the actual beings involved in the Christmas story, we should be careful to make sure we give the most prominent place to Jesus Christ, the true Star of Christmas. He should be at the very top of all the celebration and consideration; and, He should be the only one to receive worship.
The Mother and Step Father of Jesus
Without the uprightness and purity of Joseph and Mary, the virgin birth of the Son of God could not have happened. But, they were only common, ordinary human beings who needed the Savior as well as we all. When Mary is exalted above the Biblical narration to become a sort of goddess, this obscures the light of the true Star of Christmas, Jesus Christ.
The Holy Angels
When the angels are revered to the point of worship and superstitious endearment, again the view of Christ is blocked. Angels are instructed in the Word to worship Him (Hebrews 1:1-6). Nowhere in the Bible are we told to worship angels. In fact, we are commanded not to do so. Rather, we should worship Him Who is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
The Wise and the Rich
The wisdom of the wise men is a wonderful thing. They had no doubt much scholarly information about the constellations, the movements and positions of the stars and planets. Also, they may have received some of the Old Testament Scriptural prophecies about the "Star of Jacob". Knowledge, and especially spiritual knowledge, is to be sought after. We are to "BUY the TRUTH, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding." (Proverbs 23:23). It seems to me that some people take a certain amount of pride in the fact that they know so much more than everyone else. But, let us be careful not to treat such wonderful knowledge as more important than the one who is the Word of God incarnate, the One Who is "the Way the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6) and Who is "The Light of the world" (John 9:5).
Again, unlike the wise men, many have very little to give to the Savior in terms of this life's goods. But, let us each one present all that we do have. Like the poor widow who could only give a pittance of money, let us give our all to Him, Who gave His all for us.
The Lowly and Poor
And, while we're contemplating how much or how little we have, we might do well to think of the shepherds. They had so little, but they were entrusted with a heavenly message and became the first visitors of the newborn King. But, again, some seem to think that if they major on being poor and lowly that this will gain them rank and favor with the meek and lowly Nazarene. Some people actually become proud of their humble estate in life and despise those that are rich. Thus did not the One who brought us the richest of gifts, His unspeakable gift of Himself to us. No amount of poverty and lowliness in this world can save us from sin. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can deliver us from our sinful selves and fit us for the courts of Heaven.
The Overtly Wicked
Then there was Herod, who pretended that he would himself go to worship the King; but, only so that he might kill Him out of demonic jealousy. He represents some of the most notoriously wicked types of people in this world. Herod killed many people, including close family members, just to get rid of his competition for dominance. Yet, I wonder how many were so focused upon Herod's evil, that they missed the very One Who taught us to pray "deliver us from evil", the One Who "would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear," (Luke 1:74) Some today are so focused upon the revelation of the anti-Christ that I am afraid that have no time for the revelation of Jesus Christ (see the book of Revelation). We should be making ourselves ready for His return, for "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that LOOK FOR HIM shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:28)
The Evidently Self-righteous
Next, we may notice those who are religious hypocrites, the religious leaders and scribes knew the truth about where the Messiah was to be born; but, in their hearts they were not truly expecting him. Let us not be like them. Let us not let them take our attention off the Savior, lest we become like them while condemning them. I cannot stress enough, let us be careful with what spirit we stand against the cantankerous, legalistic, "petrified saints". While contending against a wrong spirit, we stand in danger of letting our own spirit become sour.
Let us rather be "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; .. And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;" (Hebrews 12:2, 13-15).
The Sincerely Righteous and Holy
Of all the characters to discuss at Christmas time, I think the two who probably get the least attention, are the righteous and holy Simeon and Anna. Isn't it interesting that those who are quiet and truly faithful in the things of God are the ones who are generally the most overlooked here on earth?
It was Simeon who lived so close to God that The Holy Spirit told him that he would see the Messiah before he died. Anna was a prophetess who fasted and prayed much, living a life wholly dedicated to the service of God (Luke 2:25-38). They both were able to focus upon the true Star of Christmas, because they lived in the spirit of expectancy. They were ready for whatever God had next.
These saints of God are definitely worthy of respect and should be an example to us today. But, in our time, when we give honor to such as are worthy of honor, we sometimes have a tendency to lean a little towards a hero worship of the saints. This is just another area of which to be careful. We may honor the true saints for it is due them, but remember, as with Mary and Joseph, that they are but normal human beings who have received the grace of God. As Paul said, "by the GRACE of GOD I AM WHAT I AM." (I Corinthians 15:10)
So let us all fall down and worship the true Star of Christmas, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God manifest in the flesh, Emmanuel (God with us).
Yours in Christ,
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Last edited by BibleNote Writer, 21/Aug/2015, 12:12 pm
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
The Bible Note Writer
written to glorify God
and to help souls
on the way to Heaven.
28/Jan/2008, 10:19 am
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