by: Peter Alcivar
Matthew 2:9-11 (NIV) 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. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 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.
Many people have heard and read about the wise men from the East who traveled a long way to go and see the baby Jesus. Most scholars believe that they came from Persia (modern day Iran) and if that’s the case, that means that they traveled between 800-900 miles to see the newborn King. A star appeared to them and led them right to where the baby Jesus lay. They bowed down to worship Him and presented Him with three gifts, which is why many folks believe that there were three wise men. But the gifts, which were costly, had a deeper meaning than their outward appearance.
The first gift was a gift of gold and gold was a precious metal that was given to kings as an acknowledgement of their kingship. It was a way to demonstrate that they were honoring the king. In the same way, we should honor the Lord Jesus as King (Lord) of our lives. We honor Him by obeying Him, submitting to Him and by acknowledging that everything we have comes from Him and belongs to Him. We also acknowledge Him as Lord by giving Him the firstfruits of our labor. Frankincense was used for perfume and for incense and was also considered a gift worthy of a king. Incense was to be continually burning in the Temple of God and it represented the prayers and the worship of the people. Today we can offer Jesus our worship as a sweet aroma to Him. We can also live our lives in a way that draws praise and worship to our God. Finally, the myrrh was an anointing oil also valuable enough to give to a king. Myrrh was also used as an embalming spice and it happened to be the spice that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus used to embalm Jesus’ body before he was put in the tomb. The myrrh represents our willingness to die (to sin and to self) in order that Christ may live in us and through us.
The Magi brought three precious and costly gifts fit for The King and today, we also can bring what these gifts represent as gifts to our King, our Savior and our Lord: Jesus. We can honor Him with our lives, worship Him as He so deserves and die to ourselves so that we can be filled with His life and be His representatives here on earth. Let’s bring these gifts to our King, who is worthy of all the honor and of our praise and adoration!
Pastor Joey Vazquez