Gifts

Matthew 2:11. “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshiped Him: And when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts:  Gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

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I want to take a moment and look at these gifts that the Magi brought to Jesus. Every word of scripture is significant because every word was inspired by the Holy Spirit. 

When the Magi found Jesus, it is stated that they found the young Child, and Mary His mother.  The Child stands first because He was the more important of the two.  We are never instructed in God’s Word to worship the mother; we are to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him only. Philippians 2:10 tells us that at His Name every knee shall bow, every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; only at His Name.  None other. 

Before the Magi presented their gifts, they fell down and worshiped.  Surely there is a lesson for us here. God is much more interested in our obedience than He is in sacrifice (I Sam. 15:22).  That is, He values our hearts’ worship more than He does whatever other gifts we may bring Him, for without our true worship there is no true obedience. 

I can imagine, though scripture does not tell us, that there was a deep, profound silence for a period of time as the Magi gazed upon the One they had traveled so far to find.  What they must have thought and felt at this moment is, I believe, beyond our understanding.  To gaze on the face of the One they believed was God incarnate must have simply taken all words from their mouths. 

Their gifts to the King reflected the custom of bringing many gifts on a royal visit.  The nature of the gifts is important because they were in full harmony with the character of the King. 

The gold speaks of His divine and kingly glory, this One Who left the realms of heavenly splendor that is beyond our imagination.  Gold has long represented the beauty, wealth, and power of kings and kingdoms. 

The frankincense, of great price and value, spoke of the fine fragrance of the character of Jesus Christ. It is an aromatic resin, used in many applications today including perfumes and cosmetics. It was considered the holy anointing oil of kings for centuries, and was typically owned only by those of great wealth and  position. 

Myrrh is the balsamic juice of the Arabian myrtle, which is used for burial, and speaks of His death. 

Isaiah 60:6 tells us of the coming of many from the East to worship Messiah, bearing gold and frankincense.  Myrrh is not mentioned in this verse.  That is because this is a Messianic prophecy, speaking of the time when Messiah has come again in power and in glory, and is the King of Kings. The time of need for myrrh has long passed. Isa. 60 goes on to speak of a time of great darkness that will cover the earth, the time of the Tribulation.  This chapter tells us that there will be multitudes coming to worship Messiah, the King of kings, when the Tribulation is passed and Christ comes to set things right. Read it with this understanding, and you will be excited and blessed.  This old world will not always be in the mess we’re in now! 

So this passage in Isaiah is not a prophecy of the coming of the Magi to worship Jesus, but is instead a faint foreshadowing of things to come in the end times. The Magi were biblical types of the many who would come not to Bethlehem, but to Jerusalem to acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Messiah, Lord. 

Isn’t it exciting to see how every word in scripture confirms and explains every concept in His Word!  There are no contradictions. 

 

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