Now we come to the case in Matthew chapter 2, the matter of finding Christ. How can we find Christ? To find Christ is a living matter; it is not by Bible knowledge. Now do not be offended; be patient and you will see what I mean.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. There is no doubt about this—it is an historical fact. The strange thing, however, is this: far away from the so-called Holy Land, far away from the genuine religion, far away from the temple, far away from the Jewish religious center, far away from the priests, the scribes, the Pharisees, and all the religious people, was a star showing something of Christ in a heathen land. It did not appear to the Jews, but to the Gentiles, the heathen. In all Christianity, all the preachers, ministers, and pastors tell people that they must find Christ and know Christ by the Bible. But the first case of finding Christ in the Scriptures was not by the Bible. The wise men did not have any Bible knowledge—they did not even have a Bible.
Merely to hold the Bible in your hand and read Micah 5:2, saying that Christ will be born in Bethlehem, does not work. You may say after you have read it that you have got it, but you have not seen it. You have got it, but nothing has happened to you. Those chief priests and scribes knew the Bible so well, but the Lord did not go to them. He went far away to a heathen land to reveal this matter to some heathen, not through the Scriptures, but through something which human hands can never touch—a heavenly star. You may have the Bible, yet you may miss the star. To hold the Book in your hand is easy, but to wait and look unto the star is rather difficult. You simply don’t know when and where the star will appear. You may study the Scriptures and obtain a degree in that, and you may learn all that the Bible has to say about Christ, but you simply cannot determine when the star will come. The Book was with the Jewish people, the religious people, but the star appeared to the heathen. Have you seen this? We may think that the star should have appeared to those priests praying in the temple, but it appeared to some pagans far away from the temple.
Oh, we all must see this star. It is not a matter of seeing the Bible, but absolutely of seeing the star. What is the star? The star is the living revelation, the living vision, not the old and dead knowledge of the Scriptures, not the dead knowledge of Micah 5:2. What we need today is not merely Bible knowledge, but the heavenly vision, the instant vision, the living vision, the vision that human concept can never teach.
Let me check with you. What do you have? Do you have the Scripture verses, or do you have the star? Do you have the scriptural knowledge, or do you have the heavenly star? Do you have the old teachings, or do you have the up-to-date, instant vision? Today so many Christian teachers just have the Bible in their hands—they have not seen the star. Merely to have the Bible in our hand is a deadly thing, but to see the star is a living experience. To find Christ according to the principle shown us in Matthew chapter 2 is not according to the Bible. To know Christ today is something living, not according to dead Bible knowledge, but the living, heavenly star.
The Lord always goes away from religion, even the Christian religion. Wherever and whenever we set up a religion, the Lord will certainly go elsewhere. We cannot circumscribe, confine, or restrict the Lord with our religion. We must learn in the church life never to set up a religion. Never say that this method or that way is right. If you say that, the Lord will say: "It is right for you, but I don’t care for it. If you were not so right, I would be with you; but just because you are so right, I will go to those who are wrong." Whenever we say that we are right and others are wrong, be sure the Lord will leave us and go to the wrong ones. The Pharisees claimed to be so fundamental, so sound, and so scriptural. Yet the Lord Jesus said, "All right, you are so sound, but I will have nothing to do with you; I will go to the publicans and sinners; I will not only go to see them, but feast with them."
Numbers 24:17 says, "There shall come a star out of Jacob." But this star did not appear to any of the people of Jacob. The star of Jacob appeared to the pagans.
(Finding Christ by the Living Star, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)