How could the star have shown them a small place like a hut and a manger, if it had not left this high place, and gone downwards till it stopped over the head of the child?
That is what the evangelist indicated by saying : “And behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.” (Matt. 2:9).
When the star recognized the Child, it stopped, and its stopping there, and its descending downwards, is a great testimony to its supernatural nature.
This had a great influence upon the wise men and guided them to worship the Child. They did not worship Him as an ordinary human being. That is obvious from the gifts which they presented to Him, and which are not suitable for a small child in its swaddling clothes…..
Why Did The Star Appear?
God opened the door to the Gentiles for the coming of the Lord, from the principle of educating His people through foreigners. Because since He had sent them many prophets who explained to them His coming, and yet they did not listen to them, therefore He let the foreigners (the Persians) come from a distant land asking for the revelation of The Way. Let the Jews learn from the words of the inhabitants of Persia, what they refused to learn from their own Prophets. If they persist in their stubbornness and still dispute over it, they will lose every excuse and every argument.
The Jews refused to accept Christ in spite of His having sent them His Prophets, while the wise men accepted the Lord and worshipped Him, merely because they had seen a single star.
Likewise, He condemned them by the examples of the Samaritan woman, the Canaanite woman, and the Queen of the South; because all of them believed; while the Jews did not.
Why did He involve the wise men in this manner?
It was not possible for such people to listen to a Prophet. And it was not beneficial for them that He talk to them from above. Therefore He called them in the way to which they were used. He showed them a great and strange star, in order to amaze them by its beautiful appearance and to lead them by the way it marched. He made it possible for them to be called by a star which they could see, in order to render them more discerning and more perceptive than they were before. So, after He led them to the manger, and they saw the new-born, He did not let them go back to their countries by means of a star, but He “divinely warned” them “in a dream” (Matt. 2:12).
Why did He manifest Himself to those wise men, and not to others?
What they did was not merely to be guided by a star, but it was God who had awakened their souls; just as He had done with King Cyrus, when He prompted him to build the house of God. (Ezra 1:2).
Read more about the Magi.
Author : His Holiness Pope Shenouda III