What Are the Effects of that Solitary Star the Wise Men Saw so Long Ago?
2 Peter 1:16-19
Introduction (Matthew 2:1,2)
A. I love astronomy, and am fascinated by the effect that stars have on people:
1. They have an effect on me - love to just stand and scan the skies with Binos
2. Some spend their lives studying galaxies, and physics, and gravity waves
3. Some actually become astronauts and get out there among them
4. Some get into astrology wasting their time with tarot cards, horrorscopes, palm readers, and hocus-pocus rubbish
B. Well, stars have affected people from the very beginning of time, and there is an event in Scripture where a single, solitary star had such an effect, that the world has never been the same.
C. It has probably occurred to you, that Jesus was born during a very dark time, under a dark emperor, in a dark barn, late one dark night that we call Christmas.
D. But, in all that darkness, there was a Light there - not from fictitious halos, or bonfires, but from a little twinkling unnamed star hovering overhead.
E. The wise men of Persia saw and recognized that tiny star out of some 3,000 other visible stars as signaling the arrival of the Messiah's birth.
1. Something about that star tugged on their hearts, and directed their attention to study the Bible to discover why it was rising out of Israel in the west.
2. When they saw it in Num 24, they traveled some 600 miles to come and worship the new King. Many months they traveled across wastelands and deserts - always following that little star up in the night sky.
F. When they got to Bethlehem, the star's effect faded, and hasn't been seen since. But what those men then discovered, was the source of that star's Light - Jesus!
G. You know the story. But I want to examine the effects of that little star, because there is truly more here than just meets the eye, as it is explained in 2Pet 1:16-19
Message - The
Effect of One Star (2
A. That Star Shows God's Power (2 Peter 1:16-18) - God didn't have to use atomic bombs, and banners in the sky - He used a little star!
1. We are not attracted to the power of Persuasion, or deception, through some "cunningly devised fables" like evolution is, or religion, Or even the power of thermonuclear fusion (which is pretty powerful)
2. We are following something that is more powerful than all the lights of the universe put together (Quasars, galaxies, supernovas, and the sun itself)
3. The wise men knew all this. They knew "science" didn't have all the answers, nor the Government. They knew even the "stars" didn't hold the keys to the future. They knew enough to leave their land, and come hear the truth from a Jewish Bible, about a Jewish Saviour being born to rule the world!
4. As they went, they discovered that this Light could do three things:
a. This little Light could dispel the darkness in their lives (Ex 10:23)
b. It could discover the depths of their hearts - reveal them inside and out - like a diving expedition with powerful lamps at the bottom of the sea!
c. It could direct their path all the way through (Ex 13:21) - make them hunger to know this new King!!!
d. Some star, wasn't it? But it is not the star we should be impressed with - it is the SOURCE of the Light! This little star did not shine its own light, but was only a reflector (John 1:3-9) - of Jesus and HIS power!
5. When Jesus came, sure He came as a baby, but like Peter, I'm here to tell you, Jesus came WITH power - He was not a wimp, limited, or a stripped-down version of God - He was Almighty God, who from birth could:
a. Dispel the darkness even in wise men's hearts - no matter how wise
b. Discover or reveal the hearts of people openly (Luke 2:34,35)
c. Deliver the sinful soul from hell (Mt 1:21)
d. Direct billions of people home to heaven, if they would follow!
e. Drive back all of Creation if He wanted to (John 18:3-6)
f. That's SOME Baby! Amen?! Careful Mary, don't drop that Baby!
6. What an Effect! That solitary little star let the whole universe know that THAT baby was something powerful! How do YOU relate to that "baby" - how do you relate to Jesus? Just a man, or a good teacher? More than that!
The Effect of One Star: Shows God's Power
B. It Fulfills God's Promises (2 Peter 1:19). God promised the Messiah would come announced by a star "rising to the west" of Persia (Num 20:17; Isa 60:3)
1. People look at Bible believers and get concerned about us - thinking we shouldn't be spending all the time in that Book (we don't - we work our jobs, and pay our bills, and feed our families, and care for people - but we also make time for our walk with God in His word - we wouldn't be true Christians otherwise).
2. But do you know what tells people apart - not whether they are religious or not, or pray or not, or sing or not - but whether they follow the "fables" of the world, or the "fixed, absolute, and verifiable truths of the word of God!"
3. Even in Peter's day, people thought Biblical Christianity, the miraculous birth of a Saviour, and His supernatural resurrection, were all "cunningly devised" (clever, calculated, well-thought-out) fairy-tales. But they ain't!
4. Peter saw, and handled Jesus, and heard the words from Heaven that spoke and clearly identified Jesus as the "promised" Messiah - the One you have been looking for - the One we all have been needing.
5. That star proved that God's promises never fail. That voice from heaven proved that Jesus was who He claimed to be!
6. Now, you hold in your hands, an even more powerful proof a twinkling star, or even a voice from Heaven offers - you have the "sure words of prophecy" that have never failed, and have a lot to say about you and me!
a. Oh that people realised the incredibleness of the fulfillment of the prophecies of Christ's coming
1) His perfect life, death, burial, and resurrection for sinners
2) Over 300 particulars that came true on the money!
b. Oh that people realised what God has given us in plain words in a Book
1) Scientists hate it - puts them out of business! No need to guess!
2) Economists hate it - can't make money off of it!
3) Religionists hate it - can't improve on it!
4) Pub owners hate it - no need for drink anymore!
5) Kings hate it - means they too have to bow themselves!
c. Oh that people realised just how dark things are - and what God has promised us in the Light of His Son Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6)!
7. If that Book is right, then we are all in a mess, and the world is going to hell, and people better get serious about God and get saved, the Bible way!
The Effect of One Star: Shows God's Power; Fulfills God's Promises
C. It Progresses Little by Little (2 Peter 1:19). This is important! Steadily grows
1. People overlook the Light of the Gospel, and the Light of this Bible just as people over-looked the Light of that star 2,000 years ago - it was only a LITTLE star - a little Light in the dark sky. Compared to all the lights of our modern cities, homes, and halls of learning, that star seemed insignificant.
2. But let me say, that THAT Light gets brighter, and brighter, the closer you get to Jesus! AMEN (Ps 119:130; Cf Job 24:13). Like Bible study
3. You see, God does not dump all the Light on people at once - He gives just enough to get attention (Psalm 19 tells us this, and that if people would just LOOK UP at night, and WONDER, God would get more information to them - God would tell them through a Christian with a Bible that the Maker of those Lights LOVES them, and yearns to save them from their sins!)
4. Most people want a God that ALREADY makes sense to them, and fits their current understanding - don't want to realise they don't know the God of the Bible, and have to start back from the beginning - how humbling!
5. Oh, if you are in darkness this morning, that Light is still there, but it starts small, and expects you to humble yourself as a sinner in darkness, in need of what THAT baby came to bring - a whole new life - the LIGHT of life!
6. If you would want that, God guarantees you'll get it, and that you will begin to grow, and mature, and become strong - all because you set out to get closer, and closer, and closer to the source of all light - Jesus of the Bible!
a. You can't do it without being saved
b. You can't grow without developing constant communication with God
c. You can't develop without feeding on this Bible daily!
Power; Fulfills God's Promises; Progresses Little-by-Little
D. It Pierces the Darkness (2 Peter 1:19) - 2 last points
1. The Light of that first Christmas pierced through the darkness of the night, but unlike normal light, its aim is to pierce through the darkness of the HEART! THAT is its purpose (Cf Acts 7:51-54) - cut to the heart!
a. Not to give a warm fuzzy feeling; not to give you self confidence, but a feeling of defeat, and surrender in the heart - to be broken!
b. And to give the feeling of transparency; reality; honesty - like an X-ray! Just as you can't hide cancer of the lung from the light of X-rays, you can't hide your sins from the Light of God's word (John 3:16-21; 1Cor 4:5; 2Cor 4:4)
2. Christmas has become (on purpose) so unreal - so fake - so insulated, so that we don't sense the pureness of that Boy, and the real reason for His coming - it is all because WE are the reason! Because of OUR sins!
3. When we face the Light of that birth instead of the sparkling counterfeit lights on houses and trees, it pierces even the coldest of hearts - that's why it is important to get people out to church, and in the word of God, and to at least look at that tiny LIGHT shining for them on Calvary!
Power; Fulfills God's Promises; Progresses Little-by-Little; Pierces…
E. It Pulls Still Today (2 Peter 1:19) - Like Gravity - Still Calling; Signaling; tugging on the heart; Waiting for someone to notice! YOU ought to be glad for this
1. The Light of that birth, the coming of Jesus, still shines - notice "shineth" present tense - continuing on, up to this day whether people notice it or not!
2. And it will shine, still try and get people's attention, until the DAY dawns - not the "new World Order" all the politicians keep talking about - but the day when Jesus comes back the SECOND time!
3. Until then, there is the chance, the opportunity to get saved; to come to that light; to follow Christ, and make Him YOUR Saviour, and Lord! You had better "take heed" - pay close attention to the Light you have been given:
a. In that Book - you know enough!
b. In knowing about Jesus Christ - you KNOW He died for YOU! You KNOW you need to repent of your sinfulness, and trust Him!
Conclusion - TODAY is the day of Salvation - don't put it off any
A. The Effect of that Star Is Powerful; more powerful than all the lights of the universe put together, and capable of transforming a twisted life, broken home, a messed-up country, and a hell-bound world into the people of God! Thank God!
B. The Effect of that Star Fulfills God's Promised - so much so that every prophet and seeker in the Old Testament sought with all their hearts to see it, and excites the heart of believers that all the rest of His promises are true!
C. The Effect of that Star Progresses Little-by-Little - Starts off like a twinkling little star, but grows to the brightness of more than the sun! You will never fathom all its depth, strength, limit - never get bored of its treasure, and rewards!
D. The Effect of that Star is like a Knife - Piercing the heart. This is where people jump ship - they don't like reality. They don't want complete honesty with both themselves, and with God. But that's where we must begin - let God break in upon the darkness, and bring Light and life in there through repentance!
E. The Effect of that Star is Pulling Still Today - Still Calling; Still Signaling; Still Waiting for someone to notice! I hope you respond to its pull today!