Parable: The Star as a Sign
This is a story which illustrates the interactions of the Magi’s star and the wise men. Hopefully, readers will find it amusing and instructive.
Starry Bob and His Three Friends:
In a certain very large city there were three friends, Balty, Mel and Casimir. They lived on the far eastern side of the city. One day they went for a walk and saw another friend named Starry Bob, who was a lamp repairman, high above the ground on a ladder repairing a street lamp. Although Bob was far up in the air on his ladder above the ground, there was a lively conversation for several minutes. Toward the end, Starry Bob yelled down to his three friends, “There is a great sale taking place in the massive supermarket named Beth’s Place on the other side of town.” He continued saying, “It is not to be missed, I encourage you to go and find all the good deals.”
The three friends continued on their way. Having taken their friend’s advice to heart they walked speedily toward the west, toward the massive supermarket. At one traffic light, a car stopped and the mayor stepped out. The three friends were a bit embarrassed, but the mayor greeted them kindly and asked them where they were going in such a hurry. They all responded to the mayor together, “We have heard from a friend of the great sale at Beth’s Place. We are hurrying to get there.” The mayor responded, “I too have heard of this great sale. “Could you be so kind as to send me an SMS if you see something really interesting?” The mayor gave them his personal phone number and the men went on their way.
Arriving at the massive supermarket there was a huge crowd in several lines. The men started asking others in the waiting line where the best deals were located. And behold, unknown to Balty, Casimir and Mel the lamp repairman Starry Bob had another job repairing and installing lamps at Beth’s Place. Starry Bob had taken his truck and gone on before his three friends to install an important new lamp just inside the main entrance of the store. He had preceded them there at least by a half-hour.
Finally getting through the main entrance Balty, Casimir and Mel saw a high folding ladder standing almost over the entrance. Looking up they saw Starry Bob who just happened to be looking down as they entered the store. Starry Bob yelled down, “I told you it is a great sale, see the crowd!” At that moment Starry Bob connected the new light. Then everyone could see clearly to find the best deals. Mel, Balty, and Casimir, being a bit superstitious, took it as a sign that they had made the right choice in coming to the supermarket.
The Magi’s star gave messages and preceded the wise men to Bethlehem in a similar manner to what is described above. The star functioned as a messenger and a sign. It did not guide or lead anyone to Bethlehem. The star preceded the Magi to Bethlehem, getting there in advance of the men on the ground. However, it was not leading them to the town or the very spot where the Messiah was located. Upon the men’s arrival in Bethlehem, above the small Judaean town, the star manifested itself again as a sign concerning the Messiah. The star never led anyone anywhere. The star was a signal, a sign concerning the Messiah, not a directional indicator.
This text is taken from Appendix 30 in the book, The Lion Led the Way.
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