The Holy Bible Is Our Star
January 6, 2019
Grace and mercy to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Lord has written: When they (the Magi) saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. Thus far the text.
Let us pray: Gracious Father, You made Your Son known to the magi by a star, grant that Jesus be made known to us by Your Holy Bible; in the name of Jesus. Amen.
The Wise Men may be likened to today’s scientists. They observed creation closely. They observed the stars for small changes and made note of them.
The Wise Men may be likened to today’s philosophers. The read ancient texts closely. These Wise Men even had portions of the Old Testament. I have addressed that during our study of Daniel and the Babylonian exile. But they also would have had today’s passage from the prophet Isaiah, which states:
A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord.
The Wise Men followed the star to King Herod, 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.”
The chief priests and scribes told them, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet (Micah): “ ‘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.’
This prophecy caused great fear. King Herod did not believe in a coming Jewish Messiah. Herod was a jealous and murderous king who quickly comes up with a plan to destroy all the Jewish boys in order to kill this future King.
This prophecy also caused great fear among the Israelites. The Israelites did not believe the Holy Scripture and also, they were afraid of Herod.
But upon hearing the prophecy from Micah given in King Herod’s palace AND seeing the star re-appear, the Wise Men rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. This is beautiful. The Christ is revealed first by the Jewish shepherds tending their flocks by night but now Gentile Wise Men rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.
Not only that, they fell down and worshiped Him (the Christ Child).
We must now speak of worship.
We confess “According to Scripture, in all our needs and concerns it is the highest worship to seek and call upon this same Jesus Christ with our whole heart” (Augsburg Confession XXI paragraph 3).
Let’s hear that again. The highest worship that in all our needs and concerns to seek and call upon Jesus Christ with out whole heart.”
This comes from John chapter 4 when Jesus is speaking to the woman at the well. The woman asks about true worship. Jesus answers that ‘God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’
Jesus does not separate the spirit and truth. Worship is not two things such as your spirit combined with your truth. Those who wish to worship Jesus must worship the Holy Spirit and Christ’s Truth. Those who wish to worship Jesus must worship in God’s Spirited-Truth. God has bound His Holy Spirit to the Holy Truth written by the prophets and the apostles. The Holy Spirit and the Holy Bible are bound together. Where you find the Holy Spirit you will have found the Holy Bible. Where you find a Holy Bible you will have found the Holy Spirit.
Like Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit (and) truth.”
The consequence is that some of you might not worship Jesus.
For example, you might believe that you have the Holy Spirit without the Bible. You say that God would never confine Himself to one little book. The Holy Spirit is God. God can do whatever He wants. The Holy Spirit can do whatever He wants because He’s God. If you believe this then you need to repent. The Holy Spirit has only promised to be found with God’s Word. The Holy Spirit wrote the Holy Bible through the prophets and apostles. We call it holy because it is the Holy Spirit’s book/Bible.
Another example, you might believe that you have the Holy Bible. You know what it contains and you do not need to keep going to church or attending a Bible study. You are baptized! You are confirmed! You don’t need to hear preaching and teaching anymore. You don’t need Holy Communion anymore. If you believe this then you may need to repent. You have knowledge. Ok. But you don’t own the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit shares Himself with you with His Holy Things, His Word and Sacrament.
The Wise Men followed the Epiphany Star that led them to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit led the Wise Men with the written prophecy connected to a star to lead them to Jesus.
And, when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him.
You are wise to follow a more profound miracle. The Holy Spirit uses His Holy Bible to lead you to Jesus. The Holy Bible is our star this Epiphany season. Just as the Holy Spirit used God’s written Word connected to a star to lead men to Jesus, so also the Holy Spirit uses God written Word connected with water, or bread and wine, or a voice to lead you to Jesus.
This Epiphany, let us not separate the Holy Spirit from His Holy Bible; in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
The peace of God, which passes understanding, guard you and keep you in Jesus Christ, our Savior. Amen,