Summary: How God uses symbols, and tangible things, to remind us of Himself.
LEARNING LIGHT FROM THE STAR…
LEARNING WISDOM FROM THE WISEMEN
DR. JERRY FALWELL
A. SYMBOLS ARE IMPORTANT
Christmas is filled with symbols. The Christmas symbols of the world is Santa Claus, tinsel, Christmas trees, snow, sleigh bells, holly, mistletoe, presents roasted turkey, cranberries, and recently they have added shopping, vacations, special movies and Christmas music. Why does the world have Christmas symbols?
1. Love of children.
2. Nostalgia, a remembrance of times more peaceful.
3. Love of family.
4. Fun - Christmas is a happy time.
5. Greed - a time to make money.
6. Escape - some spend Christmas in alcohol or “running away.”
The world has its own reasons.
Christians have their unique symbols, i.e. shepherds, manger scene, kings, stars, the Baby Jesus, angels, music and musicals, giving to the needy and a special time to praise and worship the Lord for the birth of Christ.
Why does God give us symbols? Dr. Towns often says in his Sunday School class, “God loves symbols.” Why? Because God uses tangible things to remind us of Himself.
1. The broken bread reminds us of His broken body.
2. The cup of the Lord’s Table reminds us of His blood.
3. A tithe of our money reminds us all our money is His.
4. Being baptized in water is a picture of our death, burial and resurrection with Christ.
B. THE STAR WAS A SYMBOL.
“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 have come to worship him” (Matt. 2:1,2).
“As he (Herod) sent them to Bethlehem, and said, go and seek diligently for the young child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also,
. . . they departed and lo, the star which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over the place where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy” (Matt. 2:8-11).
What is the meaning of this star?
1. Direction - it guided them.
2. Sign - it told them of a King.
3. Pointed to future - the babe would be a king.
4. Encouragement - they rejoiced when they saw it.
C. OTHER MENTION OF STARS IN SCRIPTURE
1. God created the stars ( Gen. 1:16). “And God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and he made the stars also.” The naked eye can see 4,000 stars, the Hubble telescope can see 400 million stars.
2. Ministers of the Gospel are called stars (Rev. 1:20; 2:1).
In the Book of Revelation John saw Christ in His glorified body. John saw that Jesus had 7 stars in his right hand. Jesus interpreted what John saw - “The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, . . . the seven stars are the seven angels (ministers) of the seven churches” (Rev. 1:20). The King James uses the word angel, the original language means messenger, which is the pastor who gives God’s message to the Church.
3. Bible associates wisdom and the stars—“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever” (Dan. 12:3).
D. LEARNING LIGHT FROM THE STAR
1. Wise men called the star they saw in the east, “His Star.”
a. Matthew 2:2—Not called the big star, the bright star, the outstanding star, or even the eastern star
. . .—it was His star. There are two kinds of stars. First stars that shine of their own energy or light. Like our sun, they burn brightly, giving off their light for billions of light years in distance. Some stars, only reflect the light of other stars. They have nothing in themselves, no light in themselves. This is like our moon. Christians are like the latter stars, we only reflect the light of Christ to the world.
Christians should shine for Him. To shine for Christ, it must be His light not our light.
2. Soul-winner should hold forth Jesus Christ who said, “I am the light of the world” (Jn. 8:12). Christians must hold out the light to spiritually blinded people so that they might be saved. Christians should shine the light of Jesus Christ as the star did that night in Bethlehem.
3. The star leads to Jesus. “The star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was” (Matt. 2:2).
a. A star can be seen, so we can reflect the light of Jesus Christ into the world. Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14).