Monday, December 13, 2010

Star with royal beauty bright

there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel
- Numbers 24:17 (KJV)

How, then, was He manifested to the world? A star shone forth in heaven above all the other stars, the light of which was inexpressible, while its novelty struck men with astonishment. And all the rest of the starts, with the sun and moon, formed a chorus to this star, and its light was exceedingly great above them all. And there was agitation felt as to whence this new spectacle came, so unlike to everything else [in the heavens]. Hence every kind of magic was destroyed, and every bond of wickedness disappeared; ignorance was removed, and the old kingdom abolished, God Himself being manifested in human form for the renewal of eternal life.

- Ignatius of Antioch (First Century Apostolic Father and martyr) from his Letter to the Ephesians


Anonymous said...

I love this post Matt. So true, "God himself manifested in human form" as signified and lauded by that star. Last night we had my family over and sang Star of the East among other Christmas carols...what a beautiful song. This post reminded me of it, esp. the part that says: "Star of the East, oh Bethlehem star, Guiding us on to heaven afar
Sorrow and grief and lull'd by the light, Thou hope of each mortal, in death's lonely night" is so beautiful to me: our ONLY hope is in Him and all He has done for us. Thanks for the reminder and Happy Advent Matt!

Matt Perkins said...

Thanks A.J.,
Happy Advent to you too!

Ed said...

Great guy to quote! ;-)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, Matt--Thank you!

Since we seem to be staying with the star for a while, I have a question about its followers. I remember learning in a World Civilizations class that the Wise Men were likely to have been Zoroastrian, as this was a Messianic culture East of Jerusalem. The Bible offers such little detail, we really don't know how many wise men there were and they probably weren't all kings (although the fact they were educated with the means to travel and provide said gifts probably indicates nobility).
What do you know about this?

love from

Matt Perkins said...

Hey SP,
I was just talking with a friend about the identity of the Magi the other day. I really don't know much about them as it's something I've never studied. It definitely it interesting though that these men who seem to be very foreign had an interest in the Jewish Messiah and were able to discern from the stars the place of His birth. John MacArthur sites the 5th century BC historian Herodotus in arguing that these Magi were a tribe of people from the Medes who were also a hereditary priesthood. MacArthur also suggests that the Magi were very connected with Zoroastrianism although he believes they were men who had received a belief in the true God via Daniel's interaction with the Magi centuries earlier. Interesting stuff.