III. The Star in the East.

MATT. ii. I, 2. “Behold,
there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where
is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His
star in the east and are come to worship Him.”

THIS visit of the wise men shows us :—
I. How variously God speaks to us—how many are the
voices whereby He calls us, if we will, out of darkness,
whether of mind or of heart, into His marvellous light
He uses a language to each which each can understand.
These men were probably from Parthia, and under Divine
guidance, clearly miraculous, they were led to the manger
of Bethlehem. Truly it has been said that man can more
easily understand the infinite magnificence of God than
the depths of His loving condescension. We, in our
narrowness constantly prescribe conditions for Him, under
which alone we think souls can be brought to know and
love Him. He may seem to violate our narrow rules, but
He has a larger heart than those rules allow for, and the
day will come when we, too, shall understand Him. The
universal Father sooner or later during our brief period of
existence here has a word, a star, for all of us.
II. How truth, if it is to be grasped in its fulness, must
be earnestly sought for. These wise men had a little stock
of truth to start with, but they made the most of that which
had been given them. They studied till they saw the
star. They persevered until they actually found. It is
the law of God’s kingdom to the end of time: “He that
hath to him shall be given, he that hath not from him shall
be taken even that which he seemeth to have.” God gives
to all the necessary light at some time, and if we follow it,
it will lead us on. Some word, some example, some
passing inward inspiration, may be the star in the East,
bidding the soul hope and persevere. And everything
depends on the fact of that soul’s perseverance.
III. This history teaches us what is the real object of
religious enquiry. “We have seen His star in the east,
and are come to worship Him.” Worship is the joint
result of thought, affection, and will rising upward towards
God and then shrinking into the very dust before Him. It
is much more than mere religious thought; it is the soul
seeking the true centre of the spiritual universe with all its
powers. In the worship of the Eastern sages there was
reverent outward homage, and also the practical proof of
their sincerity in their gifts.
Henry Parry Liddon, D.C.L.