Summary: The Christmas Star and the infant Jesus appear insignificant to the human eye, but both in parallel have hidden power and might. The Apostle John explains how.
Second passage reference Matt 2:1-12.
The Gospel of Matthew tells us the story of the Magi, this group of astronomers from the East who follow a new star, and seek to find who the star belongs too. The Magi know that this star is not just any star, they know it is significant beyond anything they have ever seen in their lives. So they pack up, head out and follow the star.
When we read the Gospel of Matthew we see that Matthew is the only one who tells us about the Magi and the star, however, though Matthew tells us the story of the Magi and the star, Matthew does not dwell on the significance of this new star. To find out about the significance of the start that the Magi see, we need to turn to the Apostle John. John in his Gospel tells us the significance of this new star.
Each Gospel writer approaches the beginning of Jesus’ ministry on earth from a different angle. We see Matthew and of Luke describe a wonderful story of how Jesus Christ came to dwell among us, Matthew and Luke are the ones who give us the traditional Christmas story. These are the stories we hear every year, stories we live and cherish every Christmas season.
Mark doesn’t say a word about Jesus’ birth. Instead, Mark just gets right down to the business of Jesus’ ministry on earth and Mark starts his Gospel with the baptism of Jesus.
Then we have the Gospel of John.
John doesn’t tells us a traditional Christmas story does he? But John doesn’t ignore the Christmas story all together. Instead, John gives us an abstract version of the Christmas story with references to the Word, light and darkness.
The power of the beginning of Matthew, Mark and Luke is that they show how human Jesus really was. However, when we read the beginning of Matthew, Mark and Luke we MAY get the impression that the Christmas story is when the life of Jesus began, we may get the impression that Jesus was only human. Then the Gospel of John steps in for us and clears up any wrong impression we might have had that Jesus is merely a human being. John reminds us how timeless Jesus is, how divine Jesus is, how overwhelming Jesus is.
This infant we see in the nativity scene is not like any other child in existence; This infant Jesus, incredibly holds complete power over all things, even as a newborn baby. All the power of the universe is in Jesus, from the moment of Mary’s conception.
Let’s see what John tells us about who Jesus is.
It is of no coincidence that this star appears the night Jesus was born. The Magi show up about one year later to see Mary, Joseph and Jesus, not on Christmas night as is depicted in our nativity scenes. So it takes about a year for the Magi to locate Jesus.
This new star that appears on Christmas Eve is in reality, a new light, and like the infant Jesus, the light of the new star appears to be insignificant, for to the human eye really the star appears to be just another light twinkling in the sky. Yet, even though the human eye can only see a small speck of light in the sky, though the human eye can only see a newborn infant, the reality is that star is huge and powerful, it is like our own sun, a life giving force and in parallel this infant Jesus is mistaken for just another infant, just as this new star is taken for a small twinkling light in the sky, but, in truth, like the star, Jesus is overwhelmingly powerful, he is not only the source of light, he is life itself.
The twinkling light is in reality a star as large as our own sun and the infant Jesus is in reality the creator - how do we know? John tells us so.
Here in John 1 verse 1, we see the phrase, “In the beginning was the Word...” What John does here is he parallels the opening of the book of Genesis with the opening of the Gospel of John. In Genesis 1:1 we read, “In the beginning God…”
Further we see in 1Corinthians 15:22 that Jesus is the second Adam, “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.” Now understand that in the first Adam we all experience death (1Cor 15:21) and this death that we experience is spiritual death, which is separation from God. When Adam and Eve sin in Genesis, they are removed from the presence of God as they are forced out of the Garden of Eden - they are in fact spiritually dead. This spiritual deadness is passed on to all their heirs, that would be you and I. So we experience death through the first Adam. But, we receive life through the second Adam, Jesus Christ.