9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
I've been having some great discussions over on the Amazon forums. Verna mentioned that in Matthew 2: 11, it is written that the kings went to a house. Was it a stable/manger, or a house? Or both? When did they get to go to a house? I thought the inn was full?
It brings up an interesting question... most of us have in our minds the image of the three royal figures bowing down before Jesus, knees touching the straw, arms outstretched with their gifts. Our manger set growing up always included the three kings standing by. As such, the imagery is so embedded that sometimes we forget to re-look at what was really written.
And so I admit that Following Yonder Star, at least in this case, does not feature the wise men entering a house. Sure, they are offered a place by the so-called mayor, but they still make their way to the stable.
Who saw the star first? Was it always there? Did its coming signal the exact moment of birth, or was it merely an indication? So many questions, and my story embraces the theory that the star was there for quite some time, giving them the chance to travel the distance.
How long did Herod detain them? Was Jesus already born then? Or not quite?
The Main Event
The main event here is Jesus' birth. We can speculate and research and discuss, but that was the entire focus of the journey. Even if, upon starting, the kings did not know exactly what they followed, they realized very quickly that they were following something holy. If the devil had put that much effort in stopping them, they had to push on.
So... the key message is still the birth of Christ. Heralded by a star, a star which three foreign rulers followed, He is the focus of everything.