Summary: How the star demonstrates God’s guidance for our lives
(adapted from a series from Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY)
SERIES: “IMAGES OF CHRISTMAS”
TEXT: MATTHEW 2:1-12
TITLE: “THE STAR: IMAGE OF GOD’S GUIDANCE”
OPEN: A. You may or may not now that I belong to a sermon study group
--We’re a group of preachers who get together once a week and discuss what we’ll be doing from
the pulpit in our congregations. Sometimes we do the same series’ and share research,
illustrations, and applications with each other.
1. Out of this sermon group came the idea to do this series on the images of Christmas.
2. Preachers will tell you that Christmas is their hardest time of year to preach
--You seem to be telling the same basic story over and over again to people who think they know
all about it in the first place
3. This year when we were planning our Christmas series we got really excited about looking at the
images we read about in the Christmas story.
1. Lo, all those months ago, we established the star as an important symbol of Christmas
--It seemed like a great idea at the time
2. However, as we began to do the necessary study to put this series together, it dawned on us
that the Bible has very little to say about the star
--My good preacher friend, Darrel Land, even asked, ““How can you preach an entire sermon
on an image that the Bible only has a few words about?”
3. Have you ever seen the movie, “Christmas Vacation”? Do you remember at the end of the
movie when the entire family is outside and Cousin Eddy’s children look at the sky and say,
“It’s the Christmas Star.”
--It actually turns out to be a warning light from the sewage plant
4. I thought our star had turned into the disappointing warning light at the end of “Christmas
5. But the more study I did, the better I understood the lessons of the star: an image of God’s
B. Mt. 2:1-12 – “After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi
from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?
We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’ When King Herod heard this he was
disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests
and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. ‘In Bethlehem in Judea,’
they replied, ‘for this is what the prophet has written: But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are
by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the
shepherd of my people Israel.’ Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from
them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, ‘Go and make a
careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and
worship him.’ After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in
the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw
the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary,
and they bowed down and worshiped him.
Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.”
D. Just like the Magi were searching for the Christ-child, many of us have searched for God’s will for
1. And oftentimes we want God to guide us, just like he guided the Magi.
2. The most important thing is following God’s guidance
--When we follow God’s will for our lives, we learn a couple things:
I. INSTEAD OF BEING SAFE, FOLLOWNG GOD IS OFTEN DANGEROUS
A. We think that following God is safe.
--It’s even one of the ways we know we haven’t missed God’s will—if we are living a safe and secure
life, then we assume that we must be living in the middle of God’s will.
1. The Magi set out to discover what God was trying to tell them
--Their sign was the star
2. How did they know what the star signified?
a. The Magi were an elite class of Eastern scholar-priests.
--they studied astronomy, astrology, philosophy, and religion
b. Some Magi (also known as “magicians” and “astrologers”) had been advisers to Babylonian and
c. In fact, Daniel, the Old Testament prophet, was taken from his home in Judah to Babylon while a