On Celestial Bodies

Star of BethlehemThe Star of Bethlehem shown above is located at the lower level of the Church of the Nativity, down in the actual cave where Jesus Christ was born. This one marks the actual location of His birth.

In the account of Scripture, the star was the one that led the Magi from the east to the town of Bethlehem and to the place where the Savior was born.

Entrance to the Nativity cave

The entrance to the cave is fairly narrow, and tourists line up for what seems like an eternity just so see and touch the place where the Messiah came to the earth as a little human baby.

Meaning and Significance

The Star of Bethlehem has fourteen points, which represent the fourteen generations from the time of Abraham to the time of David, another fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and another fourteen from then to the birth of Jesus (Matthew 1:1-17). Around the opening of the cave is an inscription in Latin that translates, “Here Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary.”

The Visit of the Wise Men (Matthew 2:1-12)

2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.



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