Author: Steven T. Cook

    Note: Creation Moments exists to provide Biblically sound materials to the Church in the area of Bible and science relationships. This Bible study may be reproduced for group use.

    We would be surprised if we went out in our yards in summer or fall and took the time to really examine what is happening in it. How many kinds of plants are growing, what types of insects are around, if there are even any subterranean creatures working literally under our feet. Looking at familiar texts of the Bible from new viewpoints is very helpful to opening our eyes also.

    The Christmas story is full of miraculous events. One began over 700 years earlier, when Micah prophesied where the Messiah would be born (5:2). This was fulfilled when Joseph had to go to Bethlehem because of a census (Luke 2:1-7). Is there any way man could have arranged this prophecy and its fulfillment by his own power, given the situation?

    Read Luke 2:8-20. Who were told about this birth of the One who is Savior of mankind? Again the angels appear to man – this must be important. What would you have done in the shepherds’ place? By going into town the shepherds could have been disillusioned if they had only imagined the appearance and message of the angels. Were they? How do we know of these events in which the shepherds took part? (Read vs. 18-20 and 1:1-4 again, if you need help.)

    These common people were not the only ones to receive a miraculous announcement from God regarding His Son’s birth. (Perhaps this is the foundation of our tradition of sending birth announcements today)

    Read Matt. 2:1-18. Here we are introduced to the good guys – wise men, or magi, who were invited; and the bad guy – King Herod, who was not. What miracle did God use to announce His Son’s birth to the magi? Why would He use this method for them?

    Here again, as God works a miracle, man tries to explain it away. This star had to be special in several ways:
    1) it had to announce the birth of the King of the Jews,
    2) it must be different from normal heavenly events to move the magi to travel so far, and
    3) it had to appear in such a way that it could direct the magi to a particular house (see verses 9-10).

    Since Bethlehem is about 5 miles south of Jerusalem it couldn’t be a star or planet setting in the west to accomplish this last. At the same time, we cannot conceive of any heavenly event so particularizing a point, as to show one house from others.

    Read verses 16-18. What is the greatest amount of time over which this “star” was seen by the magi? How can we respond to those who try to use natural events to explain the Christmas star away? Do their explanations even touch the fact that the magi were led to a particular building by the star?

    In the intervening verses, God moved the magi and Joseph on their journeys. Although dreams are still common today, such clear messages from God, via dreams, are still the exception rather than the rule. Would these also be miracles?

    How do you think Matthew knew these events, to record them?

    Having seen the many miracles around the miraculous birth of God’s Son, you may want to close this study with Zachariah’s song of praise – Luke 1:68-73 (the Benedictus).


    1988 Bible Science Newsletter.

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