Did a star really guide the Wise Men to Jesus?

To many people the idea of a Star guiding a camel train of Wise Men from Persia to Palestine to present gifts to Jesus at the house where he was living as a young child is ludicrous and laughable. They are convinced that no such Star existed.

They have their own explanations as to what “really” happened. The Star, they say, was really just a natural phenomenon, like a brightly burning meteorite or comet that appeared in the night sky that year. Or that the Star story was really just a myth, like all the other tall tales people used to spin in those days. Or that the Star was really just a symbolic picture of Jesus “the Light” coming to earth. In other words, the Star wasn’t real. And if by chance there really was an exceptional light in the sky that year, it wasn’t supernatural and it wasn’t connected to Jesus, either.

But in Acts 2:22, “Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs.” God “accredited” or proved to people who Jesus was by clear “signs” – astronomical signs too, as we see in verses 19-20. These were signs that could be easily observed by people like the Wise Men – and their significance noted. So what would be so surprising about God designing something extraordinary in the night sky from the creation of the universe for the time of Jesus’ birth that could be detected and understood by people who had both a working knowledge of the stars and of Scripture? Because the Wise Men knew the Scriptures too. They knew about an eternal king being born one day. How? From the famous prophet Daniel, held captive in their country, who had foretold of such a king (Daniel 2:44-45, 7:27).

The Wise Men were also astrologers, interpreters of signs, just like Daniel had been (Daniel 5:13-30), so why couldn’t God have given them the same gift of interpretation that he’d given to Daniel?

But how do you explain Matthew 2:9 that says the star “stopped over the place where the child was”? How could a star stop and point to a house? But angels were on the scene directly influencing events too, verses 12-13, so was this an angel now directing them to the actual house? But why shouldn’t it be? This was the birth of God’s Son, the most important event in human history up to that point, and God wanted people to witness it – people like the Wise Men who actually understood the enormity of what was happening.

So was there really a star guiding the Wise Men? It’s a lot easier to prove there was than there wasn’t.


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