Jesus, the ‘Star’ to follow points to the divine initiative in the church’s proactive Gentile mission. Walter Kaiser rightly claims that “the Bible actually begins with the theme of mission in the Book of Genesis and maintains that driving passion throughout the entire Old Testament and on into the New Testament.” The mission and evangelism theme above other themes ‘is paramount, defining Scripture from beginning to end.’ We are in an age when specialist short-term work, humanitarian relief and support services are all being called missions. However, the account of the Wise men show us that following the ‘Star’ in communicating the message of salvation suggests the passion behind the main activity of our mission and evangelism. The gospel of Matthew begins with how foreigners from distant nation came to worship Jesus Christ. Beyond Jesus’ kingship over the Jews, Jesus is the ONLY Saviour of the world, hence the star has spiritual and missional implications and force (Jn 3:16). The purpose of the star is to point the people to Jesus Christ. The reflection is that, we are not just to see the star during Christmas, we are to see the star every time.
Jesus as the motivation for the Wise men’s journey resonates with our motivation for proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus today. In essence, just as the Wise men were ready, we must be ready to meet God in the midst of our everyday activities, God is calling us to get up and follow the Star, Jesus Christ. The message and expectation is that what we believe should determine how we behave and live. The required response is that we must be willing to put feet on our faith through evangelism; then get going and follow the Star in our discipleship. According to the prophet Isaiah, we are called, especially, people upon the waste places of the earth to do the same by spreading the vision of the day of deliverance (Is 52). Prophet Isaiah sees the messenger come bounding over the mountains of Judea, to bring the news to Jerusalem that her deliverance is come (vs 7). Just as the angelic watchers sing with joy, we are to spread the Good News of joy as the Wise men did to our generation(vs. 8).
The Wise men proclaimed the Good News especially to the people in power to the extent that Herod and his cronies were afraid and threatened. The gospel proclaims liberty to those bound with fears. The relief experienced by the Wise men in following the star was meant to shake Herod from his doubts and fear and loose him from those band. The truth is that there is relief for those weary and heavy laden under the burden of sin and unbelief. Jesus, the ‘Star’ to follow paid the price as the Redeemer for our salvation, not of silver or gold, or ‘corruptible things, but his own precious blood.’ To seriously follow the star and in order to value the redemption which is in Jesus Christ, the hurtful temporal comfort sins gives summons us not to take the freeness in following Jesus as the ‘Star’ for granted.
To follow the Star and to proclaim the good tidings requires holiness in every preacher and follower of Jesus Christ. Just as the Wise men returned the ‘other way,’ followers of the Jesus Christ must keep ‘themselves clean from the pollution of the world, they are beautiful to those to whom they are sent.’ The liberty Jesus Christ has proclaimed is to be use as a call to all in the bondage of sin and Satan. To follow Jesus, the ‘Star,’ invites us ‘to go with diligent haste, not to lose time nor linger.’ Beloved, in the New Year 2019, ‘if you want to know God’s direction for your life; get good directions, then follow the star … Do not worry about what gifts you bring; each is appropriate in its own way as you follow the star.’The missionary theme turned into “missionary paradigm” by David Bosch calls for personal and church renewal. Bosch’s interpretive device for emphasising singular issues as mission, as well as larger themes and whole period of history,’ requires the Wise men’s passion and devotion in you and I in order to follow Jesus, the true Star and not the Herods of our time and their systems. My closing reflection is, where is the New Year light leading you? Remember, it leads us to Jesus Christ. Follow the Star!