THE INDIRECT SIGNS OF HIS COMING
"And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds." Luke 2:18
Beyond the DIRECT SIGNS there were INDIRECT SIGNS. In connection with the visit of the magi, remember their testimony to Herod and to Jerusalem, the splendor of their gifts, and their attitude to the Child. These all constituted signs to men. They brought gifts for a monarch, and the significance of their visit is seen in Herod's terror. He knew what it meant. It was a sign to royalty, this bringing of rich gifts.
Then again there was the story that the shepherds told, at which the people wondered,—a strange story that spread over that whole district. (Luke 2:18.)
There was also the sign of the slaughter of the innocents. All these were such as to arrest the attention of the people. The star in the East, the visit of the magi, the story of the shepherds, the slaughter of the innocents, the songs of the angels, all directed attention to the advent of Jesus. The heavens gave their testimony, and became luminous with a new light at night. The stellar spaces spoke by the appearance of a new star, which arrested the attention of the men who watched the heavens. Heaven as well as earth was moved at the advent, and hell itself was moved, as is shown by the stirring up of the hatred of Herod's heart, and the awful slaughter of the innocents.
These signs were sufficient to attract attention, and point to the advent of Christ, but there were few to read the signs of the times, and not until long after, did men begin to understand the deep significance of these signals of the advent. Today men understand them in part, and every day are coming to realize more and more their deep significance.