We just celebrated Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. When we remember His birth, part of the story involves a star that the wise men from the east saw (Matt 2:2). They followed it to Judea and came to Jerusalem to meet the King.
We don’t know how they knew that that star would lead them to the King. Centuries before, Daniel had lived and prophesied in the area they came from. He had prophesied about the coming Messiah. There were Jewish synagogues in the east as well. They knew of the Jewish belief about the coming King of the Jews.
Also, there is a prophecy in Num 24:17 which refers to the coming Messiah as a rising star. There is a fair amount of evidence that there was a belief among the pagans that astrological incidents could indicate the birth of a political ruler. It is also possible that God revealed the significance of the star to the wise men in other ways.
With the star announcing the birth of the Messiah, the nation of Israel would be reminded that the kingdom was being offered to them. Matthew also makes it clear that Jesus was a descendant of David, from whom the Messiah would come. Matthew does that in the very first verse of his Gospel (Matt 1:1). This reference to David was a reminder that God was going to fulfill His promises to Israel in regard to the kingdom and the coming King.
So the star associated with the birth of Christ pointed to a number of things. Jesus was the King. God is going to bring the kingdom to the nation of Israel. The Descendant of David was on the scene. God was going to fulfill His promises He had made to His people in the OT.
The star that appeared at the birth of Christ occurred, of course, at the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. I noticed recently that the same ideas we find at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry are found in the last words Jesus gives us at the end of the NT. They form a type of bookends to the message of Christ.
In the Book of Revelation we are told of the coming kingdom, which will begin with Jesus reigning upon the earth for 1000 years (Rev 20:4). This will be followed by a new heaven and earth where Christ will reign forever (Revelation 21).
The kingdom He offered to the nation of Israel at His first coming will become a reality at His second coming.
In the final book of the NT, Jesus is talking to the churches (Revelation 2-3). In Rev 22:16, He reminds the reader that He is speaking to Christians. He then tells them that He is the “Offspring of David.” This is a repetition of the claim in the Gospel of Matthew that Jesus is the legitimate heir to the throne.
But then He calls Himself the “Bright and Morning Star.” The Book of Revelation has just told the reader of the coming of the Lord and His kingdom. Just as a star announced His first coming, so a star will announce His second. However, this time, He will be the star. His appearance will announce the beginning of a new day—the Morning Star. There is a new world dawning when He appears.
And He will fulfill His promises to us. In the next verse, the Lord says that He gives eternal life to all who are thirsty for it. It is a free gift. On that day, all who have believed in Him will be a part of His eternal kingdom.
The star of the first Christmas told the wise men that the King, the Son of David, had come. He was the One who would bring in the kingdom and fulfill all the promises to the people of God. Another Star is coming. Jesus Himself is that Star. On that day, the King, the Son of David, will reign over His kingdom. He will fulfill all His promises to us. I can’t wait to see that Star.