“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men form 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.”
What was the star the wise men followed to find the infant Jesus? About this time of year, articles appear in magazines and newspapers offering many opinions. Some suggest that it was a comet. Others say it was the conjunction of two or more planets or stars. Do any of these theories offer possible explanations?
It’s not a very complicated task to evaluate these explanations. All you need is a Bible and a map of the Holy Land. Matthew 2:1 tells us that the wise men came from east of the Holy Land. Verses 2 and 9 further tell us that these men had seen the star indicating His birth in the eastern sky. Despite the pictures on Christmas cards, they had not followed the star to Jerusalem. Once they arrived in Jerusalem, we learn in Matthew 2:9 that the star they had seen in the eastern sky moved to lead them to the Christ Child.
Matthew clearly tells us that the wise men went from Jerusalem to Bethlehem in their search for the child. Bethlehem is due south of Jerusalem. He also tells us that the star moved over where the child was. That movement is very unlike a star. In fact, the movement of the star was even more unstar-like in that it directed them to a specific house!
These wise men from the East were accustomed to the sights of the night sky. They could tell the difference between a conjunction and a comet or a miracle star. This star was clearly created by God to announce the birth of the Savior of the world to the world He came to save!