We are bombarded with assertions and “proofs” all day long by the media, at school, through television and radio, books, newspapers, etc. The result is that we tend to take things with a grain of salt until we have had a chance to investigate it for ourselves. A common phrase is “Don’t believe everything you hear!” and it is for good reason that it is often repeated. The Bible at 1 John 4:1-3 tells us to “test the inspired expressions” so we can see if they are God’s words or not. Under inspiration, Job said “Does not the ear itself test out words As the palate tastes food?” (Job 12:11) When we read or study any subject, Biblical or not, this principle comes into play. We have to test it out for ourselves. Is the argument logical and reasonable? Does it align with the rest of the Scriptures in the Bible, or contradict it? Does it rely on human interpretation or theory? Is it easy to grasp or is the presentation very complicated? All these questions help us to “taste” the veracity of the claim, and figure out in our own mind if it is from God. With that in mind, a question and answer essay is presented on the topic of the star mentioned in Matthew chapter 2. This may definitely be a new thought to those of you that have been raised as a Witness. Consciously trying to clear our minds of former influences and prejudice’s is always a good way to keep an open mind. Famous author and poet G.K. Chesterton said:
“Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.”
The reasoning below was not easy for me to accept at first. In fact it still isn’t. But does it have the ring of truth? Only you can answer that. The logic to the scenario below is persuasive:
Was the star of Bethlehem Satan’s Star?
(The following dialogue is a simulated discussion between one of Jehovah’s Witness named Joe and a Christian churchgoer named Chris. Joe is quite sure that the Star of Bethlehem was guided by Satan. In fact he has shared this point a number of times out in service and enjoys using this presentation in conjunction with the offer of the “Greatest Man Who Ever Lived” book each December. The householder Chris listened to Joe’s presentation the week before but asked for more information. Joe is back with the research he has done.)
Chris: Joe, can you tell me why the Watchtower believes that the star of Bethlehem was Satan’s star and that the wise men were led by Satan?
Joe: I can show you what the Bible says. I’ve brought some information from the Watchtower for you to look at. Notice this article from the July 1, 1985 Watchtower I printed out. On pages 16 and 17 it says,
“Who do you think provided the star that moved in the sky to guide the astrologers? Remember, the star did not guide them directly to Jesus in Bethlehem. Rather, they were led to Jerusalem where they came in touch with King Herod, who wanted to kill Jesus. And he would have done so if God had not stepped in and warned the astrologers not to tell Herod. It was God’s enemy, Satan the Devil, who wanted Jesus killed, and he used that star to try to accomplish this purpose.”
So you see Chris, the Bible shows us that the “star” that led the astrologers was Satan’s star and it was used to try to destroy Jesus.
Chris: That’s an interesting premise Joe, but I’ve never seen it that way from Scripture. I’m wondering if you could answer some questions I have about the story of the star and the wise men found in the Bible.
Joe: I am always willing to answer your Bible questions! Ask away.
Chris: Let’s look at Matthew 2:1, 2.
Joe: In the New World Translation it says:
“After Jesus had been born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, look! Astrologers from eastern parts came to Jerusalem, saying: “Where is the one born king of the Jews? For we saw his star [when we were] in the east, and we have come to do him obeisance.”
Chris: So Joe, according to those verses, where did the wise men see the star?
Joe: It says they saw the star when they were in the east.
Chris: Does it say that the star led them to Jerusalem?
Joe: Well…no, it just says that they saw the star in the east. But it had to lead them to Jerusalem or else how did they get there?
Chris: That’s a fair question- but let’s reason on it. Obviously they knew something about the Jews and their religion because the Bible says that they knew that the star was connected with the long-awaited king of the Jews. If they were aware of the Jew’s belief in a coming king, where do you think that they would look to find the king?
Joe: Jerusalem was the seat of government.
Chris: That’s right- it was the capital city and had the throne of King Herod as well. Logically Jerusalem would be the place to start their search for the king. Also the road itself led straight to Herod’s city so they had to go there first regardless. Do you know of any verses that say the star actually led the wise men to Jerusalem?
Joe: Hmmm. Well, there aren’t any other verses that I know of. I’d need to do more research on that…But it only makes sense that the star led them to Jerusalem because Satan wanted Jesus killed.
Chris: You know Joe there is a verse that talks about the star leading the Magi. Have a look at Matt. 2:9. I’m sure you’ve read it before.
Joe: It says, “When they had heard the king, they went their way; and, look! The star they had seen [when they were] in the east went ahead of them, until it came to a stop above where the young child was.”
Chris: Joe, did the star lead the Magi to Jesus?
Joe: Yes, it did. This shows that it was Satan’s star.
Chris: But look at verse 12. Who gave the wise men direction in a dream?
Joe: Verse 12 says, “However, because they were given divine warning in a dream not to return to Herod, they withdrew to their country by another way.” I’m familiar with this- here Jehovah warned the wise men to stay away from Herod to prevent him from killing Jesus.
Chris: If the star of Bethlehem was Satan’s star, then Satan goofed! At that point he could have had the star take Herod and his army directly to the young Jesus. Who cares about the wise men at that point? Jesus would be in grave danger! But in reality that’s not what happened, because the wise men were obedient to Jehovah, but Herod obviously was not.
Joe: The star couldn’t have been Jehovah’s star. There is no reason to send pagan astrologers to Jesus other than to stir up Herod to try to kill Jesus. Satan has always tried to foil God’s purpose.
Chris: Joe, if the Magi were pawns of Satan and influenced by him, then they would not have obeyed Jehovah’s warning in a dream. The fact that they obeyed Jehovah seems to indicate that they were acting in accord with his will. And in ancient times, an astronomer and an astrologer were one in the same. So they were scientists of their time, and rightly could be called “Wise Men”.
Joe: Agreed. But just because these wise men obeyed God in this instance proves nothing- he could have made them obey.
Chris: Well it’s true, Jehovah could easily have stopped the wise men from finding Jesus- just like He stopped Herod from finding Jesus. But the wise men provided something vitally important that was needed- and in fact fulfilled an important prophecy about the Christ.
Joe: What do you mean?
Chris: Matthew 2:15 quotes a prophecy from God about His Son being in Egypt. And verse 18 is another prophecy quoted about the death of the young children that would be killed by Herod. It was no surprise to Jehovah that Herod would cause the death of many children in an attempt to kill Jesus. God already knew this and gave a prophecy to show that He was prepared for this event. How would Jehovah provide protection for Jesus?
Joe: He sent Jesus and his parents into Egypt.
Chris: If Jehovah already knew that his Son would need to go to Egypt just as was prophesied, what did He prepare to provide financially for his Son in Egypt? Weren’t they quite poor? How could they afford to ever make such a trip?
Joe: I’ve never thought of that question before. I don’t know.
Chris: Just think, Joe. The wise men brought very expensive gifts to the young child Jesus. These gifts were worth enough to finance the stay in Egypt of God’s Son. These men brought a financial provision for Jesus in direct line with Jehovah’s will. It was not until after the Magi left that Jesus’ parents were instructed to flee to Egypt. Now Joe, whose star do you think the star of Bethlehem really was?
Joe: Well like I said, I’d like to do more research on this topic. Honestly, I’ve never looked at it this way before. Thanks for your time Chris. Have a good day.
Chris: I will! Have a good day yourself.
A PDF version of the story can be downloaded here.
Story Adapted from: http://www.jwinfoline.com/Documents/Christmas/Was_the_star_of_bethlehem_satans_star.htm