Why the Wise Men Stopped Following the Star

stopped following the starFollowing the star

The wise men stopped following the star after traveling many miles for months or years. How long the journey took, we do not know for certain. Yet, when we consider what we do know about the wise men and their journey, it could have taken as long as two years. Read the story in Matthew and see how the details of Herod’s killing of children two years old and younger fits this idea.

What type of caravan came with them, we do not know. No doubt servants traveled with them to care for their animals. These men were astrologers. They knew the stars in the heavens and how the sky appeared. One day, there was something different. They saw a star they had never seen before.

Was this star in the east the alignment of other stars or some other phenomena in the heavens? How can we know?  We do know it caught their attention, and they knew what this meant. They made up their minds to journey east.

When this particular star appeared, these kings set course to follow the star. Did the star move continually or stop at night when they rested? Did it appear slowly and then illuminate the sky, or was it just there one day (or night)? We don’t know. We only know, when the star came and stood over the place where the young child was, they stopped following the star.

Finding the star

We do know that the star led the wise men first to Jerusalem. There the Magi encountered King Herod.

From Jerusalem, the star led them to Bethlehem. They traveled those additional 12 miles from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. Scripture says they followed the star until it came and stood “where the young child was.” They entered into the house in Bethlehem and found the Child and His mother. Scripture tells us they knelt down and worshipped. The Magi presented to Him their treasures: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Not only did the wise men keep traveling and keep watching the star until they found the child, they entered the house where the Child was and knew they found the Treasure of their journey. They found their Star – their Messiah – in a house in Bethlehem.

They pursued and kept traveling until they got to the end of the their journey. There was no need to go any further. As they knelt before the Child, they knew the journey was over.

stopped following the starFinishing the journey

Their journey was over when they found the One they were seeking. That’s when they stopped following the star. There was no need to keep following, because the star stayed over the place where the young Child was. That is how we know they quit following the star. The end of their journey was also the beginning of a new one.

They travelled back  home. How long that journey was, we do not know. We do know they did not go by way of Jerusalem as requested by Herod. Warned of God because of Herod’s evil intentions, they went home a different way.

When we come to the end of our journey to find “the Christ”, we too must return to our world a different way. Gone are the old haunts and old habits. Gone must be the desires we once held onto. The journey Home, like the wise men, must be a different way.

Photo credits: freebibleimages.org

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