Summary: The God of time, place and person has come here for you and me. Are you ready?
Look Who’s Worshipping Jesus?
This week I was doing some research on the star of Bethlehem. It is amazing how many theories there are for what happened and when. My personal favorite is in: The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the Magi is published by Rutgers University Press. By a Dr. Molnar. One reviewer said, “The practices and beliefs of astrologers during Herod’s reign show why Jupiter and the planets in Aries the Ram on April 17, 6 BC signified a Messianic birth. You will also find confirmation by a Roman astrologer, Firmicus Maternus, that the conditions of that day when Jupiter was in the east were those for the birth of a "divine and immortal" person.”
My birthday is April 17 too. Whether it was then or not, Jesus was born on someone’s birthday for sure.
Many mysteries surround the birth of Christ. Who were the wise men? Why did they come to worship Jesus? What did they see in the stars?
In the New Testament Peter says: 2 Pet. 1:19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
John writes: Rev. 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."
Jesus is the light of the World. He was sent here for all people. The Angels said to the shepherds: “We bring you good news of great joy that shall be for all people.”
God put signs in the heavens to announce Jesus’ birth beyond the borders of Israel. Matthew says that wise men from the east saw his star and came bringing gifts to worship him. Most commentators think these Magi were from either Babylon or Persia or both. The Babylonian captivity had spread the influence of the Jews far and wide. Perhaps this played a part in how the Magi came to look for a divine King’s birth in Judea. We don’t know. But they did come to the right place at the right time and found the right person!
Just think about these three things: The right place, the right time, and the right person. And God had a hand in it all, guiding them to come.
Aren’t you thankful not to be living in Afghanistan today? God’s word says that God has a hand in where we live, did you know that? Acts 17: 24 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
The right place. God determined the boundaries of your habitation. In other words, God not only knows your address, he gave it to you. Can you accept that about God? Some, even among Christians, find it troubling to think that God has that much influence over them. We want to avoid blaming God for the conditions of our lives and the lives of those in worse circumstances. Some think that if we can just leave God out of such matters then he is not to blame for them and that makes us more comfortable. But what is at stake in such a teaching? God is God! He can put you in your place! Ultimately he will put everyone in there place.
Listen to me: We need to quit worrying about comfortable conclusions and just decide to agree with God’s word. If God is all powerful and all knowing and all present, certainly he is able to place you where you are. God has a plan. He put you in the place you are so that you will seek Him. Now just do it. Seek the Lord from where you are! Seek his will and follow Jesus, the morning Star.
The right time. God also determined the times set for you. Why are you living in the twenty-first century? Because God determined it so. God is the God of where and he is also the God of when. Jesus is not the only one born at the proper time. Galatians 1:15 says, “When God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles…” Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Psalms 139: 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.