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The Stars of Christmas

There are two series of seven characters mentioned by name in the first chapters of Luke. Note the unlikely "stars" of the nativity.

Zacharias, Elisabeth, Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, John the Baptist

The first seven are representative of the faithful ones among the people of God. Even though the world took no notice of them, they were very precious to God, and He appeared to them as "Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matthew 1:23).

Tiberias Caesar, Pilate, Herod, Philip, Lysanias, Annas, Caiaphas

With the other seven we see the whole world in its might and glory. The Roman Emperor and the empire over which he ruled; the Roman governor and all Judea; Herod and his licentious court; Annas and Caiaphas and with them the apostate nation that would soon crucify its Lord. The world filled its books with the history, exploits, and achievements of these people, but God in His Word gives them just one and one-half verses, while the other seven are found in one hundred and thirty-two verses.

The first seven are the stars of the Christmas story because of their attitude to His beloved Son. The second seven are all but ignored, because whoever does not know and love Christ is of no account in God's sight.—Adapted from Meditations in Luke by August Van Ryn.