When Prophecy And Astronomy Converged
“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him”. (2: 2)
As we enter the New Testament from the Old one, it is a feeling of home-coming after a very long journey. After the ancient Old Testament period and the 400-year period of darkness following it, it is bright light at the end of the tunnel. The eternal sun is on the firmament, dislodging darkness from the world.
Jesus is born at the centre of the earth at Nazareth in Judah.
The visit of the wise men from the East establishes the extraordinariness of the event.
I don’t think that it was usual for wise men to visit and pay tribute to the new born of a king of a foreign country. King Herod also might have wondered that no such wise men had visited him at birth. Therefore, this visit is extraordinary.
Now, these wise men are people who have set out tracking an extraordinary star spotted in the Eastern sky. It can be that they are the scholars specialising in astronomy together with the Jewish history at one of the renowned centres of excellence in Babylon. They are aware of an extant prophecy about the birth of a saviour for the Jews. They may have come with all excitement to witness the rarest astronomical event of the convergence of a prophecy and the movement of a celestial body.(It is immaterial whether they are from Babylon or from any other country of the East.)
The next extraordinary event is that the wise men worshipped the infant. At the most, as scholars, they may have thought of paying their respects to the new born in a king’s palace. But things have turned topsy turvy. The birth has not happened in a palace. Neither as a king’s son. The star takes them to a stable.
Their attitude undergoes a sea change. Their knowledge gives way to divinity. Tribute gives way to worship.
Do we pay formal tribute at the birth of Jesus or do we worship Him as the wise men did?
George Joseph Trivandrum