Why Were Gold, Incense, and Myrrh Appropriate Gifts for Jesus?
Then, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea during the reign of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and inquired as to the whereabouts of the child who had been born king of the Jews. As a result, we have come to revere him since we witnessed his star as it rose.’ In the midst of their adoration, they discovered the infant with Mary his mother, and they dropped on their knees and worshipped him. Then, when they opened their riches, they presented him with presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:1–2; Matthew 2:1–11) We know very little about the wise men based on the biblical narrative.
“We Three Kings of Orient Are,” as the song goes, is sung.
That they were kings, or even when they landed in Bethlehem, is not revealed in the Bible.
That very little information is provided on the wise men certainly indicates that Matthew’s attention was not drawn to the wise men themselves as a subject of study.
A literary critic would pay particular attention to the presents since they appear at the conclusion of the story after the kid has been discovered and so occupy a prominent position in the narrative.
It is simple to see why gold is a suitable present for the Lord Jesus Christ. Gold is considered to be the metal of kings. When Jesus was given with gold, it was an acknowledgement of his authority to govern. The wise men were aware that Jesus was the King of kings and that he was the Messiah. When Jesus was given with gold, it was an acknowledgement of his authority to govern.
What makes gold such a fitting gift for Jesus Christ can easily be discerned. A king’s metal, gold is a precious metal. Jesus’ right to govern was affirmed when he received gold as a gift. Because they recognized Jesus as the King of kings, the wise men came to him with gifts. Jesus’ right to govern was affirmed when he received gold as a gift.
Myrrh was traditionally used in embalming. By any human standard, it would be strange, if not disrespectful, to give an embalming spice to a child who is supposed to be the Savior. However, it was neither offensive nor out of the ordinary in this instance. It was a gift of faith on my part. We do not know what the wise men may have known or suspected about Christ’s career, but we do know that the Old Testament prophesied of his suffering on several occasions, and we believe that they did.
What Gifts Do You Offer?
There is a sense in which we, too, may offer our gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh on the basis of our faith. Make a start with your myrrh. Aside from representing Christ’s death, myrrh represents the spiritual death that should befall you as a result of your transgression against the law. “Lord Jesus Christ, I recognize that I am less perfect than you are and that I am a sinner,” you should say as you lay it at Christ’s feet. As a result of my transgression, I am aware that I will be permanently banished from your presence, and I accept this responsibility.
- That is what I believe.
- According to the Bible, there is no good in man that is not tainted by evil.
- Finally, bring your gold with you.
- As a result, by bringing your gold, you are acknowledging Christ’s authority over your life.
Provide direction and guidance in my life so that I may mature spiritually and be able to appreciate and serve you as you deserve.” If you have gone to the altar believing in everything that the myrrh, incense, and gold represent, you have begun a journey that will bring you enormous spiritual delight and happiness.
They are the only things we have to offer to the one who has given us everything through his love and mercy.
From 1982 to 2000, JAMES MONTGOMERY BOICE served as senior minister of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church and as an outspoken advocate for the Reformed faith. He died in June 2000 after a thirty-year tenure.
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What the Magi’s 3 Gifts to Jesus Really Symbolize
Some time back, in the early ’90s, I came across a Bible instructor who operated on the principle, “If anything is written down in the Bible it must have meaning, and it must have meaning that is significant.” Although that point of view seems fairly axiomatic, the fact that it is realized never ceases to amaze me. Honestly, if I’m being really honest, there are many passages of the Bible that I tend to read with half of my brain sleeping. The Bible contains a plethora of verses that I completely overlook until someone who is far more knowledgeable than I am draws my attention to them.
- Okay, I think to myself, “Wow, that’s a lot of stuff,” without stopping to consider why it’s so huge or why those exact ratios of dimensions are being employed.
- That’s the type of knowledge that always takes me by surprise and leaves me speechless with a sense of awe.
- This gets us to the subject of this essay, which is the presents given by the magi, sometimes known as wise men.
- Although they aren’t specifically addressed in the inspired word, we may assume that they must be significant.
Gold for a King
The gold is self-evident. For thousands of years, it has served as a storehouse of value. It is extremely tough to come by and much more difficult to accumulate. It’s simple to mould into forms or to make very thin sheets out of it. Furthermore, it does not rust or corrode. All of this points to it being a valuable store of value, and its usage is documented throughout the Old Testament books of the Bible, particularly in the descriptions of the construction of the temple and the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25).
If you’re looking for something truly eye-opening, here’s some research on how much wealth Solomon accumulated in gold each year: A whopping $1.2 billion bucks!
And keep in mind that this is actual, concrete riches.
As a result, when the magi came with gifts of gold to worship Jesus, they were effectively proclaiming him king.
Unfortunately, there are no hints to be found in the written record. Is it possible that Joseph and Mary used it to purchase their escape into Egypt? It’s possible that Jesus handed it to the impoverished. We are simply at a loss for words. Photograph courtesy of Pexels/Pixabay
Frankincense for a High Priest
On the Day of Atonement, the high priest of Israel offered incense in the Temple of Jerusalem. It is one interpretation of this deed in particular that I find appealing. To fill the Holy of Holies with smoke and conceal God, who lived on the mercy seat between the cherubim, in order for the high priest to be present in the presence of God without dying, the smoke of incense was used. It was necessary to die in order to see God. According to tradition, the incense was supposed to keep the high priest from dying.
- Using a prohibited source of flame or burning anything other than wood was considered “strange fire,” and it was punishable by death (Leviticus 10:1).
- It is impossible to emphasize the significance of this second gift.
- As a result, the two authorities were to be maintained as independent entities.
- This is stated more clearly in the New Testament book of Hebrews where the author asserts that Jesus is of the order of Melchizedek, who was both priest and king to his people.
Myrrh for a Sacrifice
Myrrh, the final gift from the magi, is the most somber, yet it is also the most predictive. Myrrh, used as an embalming oil, represented the Christ’s mortality as a human being. Imagine sending a gift to the Messiah declaring his suffering and death. Myrrh, on the other hand, could not be more diametrically opposed to the preceding two offerings. How could they have endured it? Two fascinating links to myrrh may be discovered in the New Testament, both of which are worth exploring. The first is that the name Mary derives from the Arabic word for myrrh.
- The prophet Simeon speaks over Mary as she presents Jesus in the temple, telling her that a sword will pierce her own heart as well.
- When John is handed the seven letters to seven churches, there is one church whose letter talks of hardship and persecution, even to the point of death, and this is the church whose letter tells of suffering and persecution.
- This last gift from the magi announced that the three powers God had established in the Old Testament had come together in the birth and person of Jesus Christ and would be fully realized in the coming of the Messiah.
- In the form of frankincense, He proclaimed that He would serve as our high priest, interceding with God on our behalf and giving prayers and intercessions on our behalf.
- This is only the most rudimentary example of how the gifts from the three wise men allude to so much more.
- But it is a study that begs to be done since each reference leads to still another revelation, yet another revealing of who Jesus is.
- I hope that this Christmas, everyone would take the time to consider and understand the magnitude of what was being expressed via those presents.
- Pixabay/Leo 65 is credited with this image.
- Carr has written the Staff and the Sword trilogy, as well as the recently released Biblical historical novel The End of the Magi.
In his spare time, he pretends to be a less-than-gentle math instructor in Tennessee, which he finds amusing. The people that live in his home include his wonderful wife, Mary, and a small dog named Mr. Fruffles who has a lot of attitude. Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Meyer via Unsplash.
What Is the Significance of the Three Wise Men and Their Gifts?
A church service might easily be dismissed as merely another location to “get” something in our consumerist society in the United States of America. Moreover, this frame of mind is not surprising, considering that church facilities and worship services are well-known for providing refreshments, free childcare, beautiful music, positive messages, and much more in a climate-controlled, safe, and aesthetically attractive setting. There is nothing wrong with delicious coffee, children’s ministries, music, and everything else; yet, if we are not cautious, we can end up thinking of ourselves as consumers in our spiritual lives, rather than going to God with our offerings of worship and “sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15).
- Following the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, many Magi journeyed to visit him, each of whom followed a different star or light in the sky.
- They were a special class of priests who had been around for a very long time (Daniel 5).
- During Daniel’s time in charge of these Magi, it is extremely plausible that he instructed them about the prophesies concerning the future Messiah (such as inNumbers 24:17andMicah 5:2).
- Their education and authority allowed them to function as political consultants and even “king-makers” — which is an odd link to draw given that the Book of Matthew (in which Jesus is presented as the true king in the line of Judah) is the only gospel narrative that cites this incident.
- “They rejoic[ed] greatly with great pleasure” when they eventually arrived at the house where the Christ Child was residing, and they “went down on their faces before Jesus and Mary and worshipped him” (an appropriate reaction to being in the presence of the King of Kings).
These were not just any old presents that they happened to have sitting around; each one was meaningful at the time it was given and continues to hold great significance for us now.
What Was the Significance of Each of the Magi’s Gifts?
The hue and sheen of gold have made it a valuable precious metal throughout history, and it has been used to make jewelry, decorations, coinage, and idols. 2. Frankincense is a pricey aroma or perfume that is derived from plants found in India and Saudi Arabia. 3. Myrrhis is a unique type of expensive perfume manufactured from rare thorn plants in Arabia and Ethiopia that is used as an antiseptic anointing oil and embalming fluid, as well as an antiseptic anointing oil. While these gifts would have been unusual and expensive for the Magi to send to Jesus’ family in first-century Palestine, they were not unheard of in the ancient world.
- They “honored the King.
- In a similar vein, the fact that these gifts were expensive demonstrated the depth of their sacrificial love and worship for the newborn King.
- The Magi did not spend their gifts on anything; instead, they were praising one another.
- is not the hope of becoming wealthy via your service to others.
- So, in order to enjoy you more, rather than things, I am intensifying and demonstrating this desire by giving up things in the intention of enjoying you more rather than things.
- God, on the other hand, makes it very plain in his word that he does not require anything that we have to offer.
As the apostles preached in the Book of Acts: “The God who created the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples built by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he required anything, because he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” The God who created the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples built by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though Moreover, he created from a single man every country of people to live on every continent of the planet, having defined allotted periods and the bounds of their living place, in order that they may seek God and, if they were lucky, discover him.
Even yet, Jesus is genuinely very close to everyone of us, for “in him we live, move, and have our being” (John 10:10). (Acts 17:24-28, ESV).
What Is the Deeper Spiritual Meaning Behind These Gifts?
The hue and sheen of gold have made it a valuable precious metal throughout history, and it has been used to make jewelry, decorations, coinage, and religious idols. The pricey smell or scent frankincense is derived from plants found in India and Arabia. 3. Myrrhis is a unique type of expensive perfume manufactured from rare thorn plants in Arabia and Ethiopia that is used as an antibacterial anointing oil and embalming fluid, as well as an anointing oil for the face. The Magi’s gifts to Jesus’ family would have been unusual and expensive in first-century Palestine, but they were not unheard of during the time of Jesus.
- These gifts, however, were diplomatic representations of the cultures of the Magi, according to the authors of this article.
- in a manner that was appropriate for their nationality” based on where they were from.
- Adulation, not charity, was the motivation behind this act.
- When it comes to the gifts, John Piper put it succinctly: “They are intensifiers of longing for Christ himself in the same way that fasting is.” It is an expression of faith that says, “The joy that I pursue.
- So, in order to enjoy you more, rather than things, I am intensifying and demonstrating this desire by giving up things in the hopes of enjoying you more rather than things.
- In a strange twist of irony, God makes it very plain in his scriptures that he does not require anything that we can provide for him.
Even yet, he is genuinely very close to everyone of us, for “in him we live, move, and have our being” as the Bible says (Acts 17:24-28, ESV).
Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh – The Truth About Their Significance
Everywhere you look this month, you’ll see children acting out the nativity scene, and at the conclusion of the star-guided journey, you’ll see the Three Wise Men, dressed in dazzling dress-up robes and bearing a gift for each child. The Magi are a part of our Christmas customs, but there is a lot to learn about their role in the birth, particularly regarding the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh they brought with them. What is the importance of the gold, frankincense, and myrrh in the New Testament?
Biblical Account of the Magi
Biblical academics and theologians have proposed a variety of interpretations on the significance of the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh that the magi brought to Jesus, according to the Gospel of Matthew, since the early days of Christianity” (2:11). In the ancient world, rich commodities such as gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil were traditional presents to be given to a monarch or a god as a mark of respect. In fact, these identical three objects were reportedly among the presents that King Seleucus II Callinicus presented to the deity Apollo at the temple of Miletus in 243 B.C.E., according to ancient records.
- (See Isaiah 60:6 for further information).
- Since then, academics have pondered and argued the issues surrounding them.
- What was the significance of the gifts given to the children?
- The fact of the matter is that we will never know (for certain) the truth regarding gold, frankincense, and myrrh, nor why the Magi traveled half-way across the world to honor the Christ Child with their gifts of these precious substances.
- The Magi (which can be rendered as “magician” but is most commonly translated as “wise man”) come in Matthew 2 after traveling from “the east” in quest of the Baby King.
- When they arrived in Jerusalem, they immediately rushed to Herod to inquire as to the whereabouts of the Baby.
- We don’t know when the visit took place, but we do know that they had been following the star for an extended period of time — maybe as long as two years.
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Three Gifts from the East – Gold, FrankincenseMyrrh
The Magi, in contrast to the imagery we have in mind of three men each bearing a gift, are not numbered. The tale has been embellished by church history and custom to include the names of the men who actually brought the presents – Melchior giving gold, Caspar bringing frankincense, and Balthasar delivering myrrh. (2) Despite this, portrayals of the Magi have changed significantly since their initial iterations, and no one can agree on the exact number of visitors in total. Their gifts to the young Jesus were described as “opening their riches” in Matthew’s narrative.
We aren’t talking about a handful of birthday presents here — regardless of the exact names and quantities, these were definitely affluent men traveling in a caravan with a lot of reputation and a lot to give the world.
The Magi were on their way to congratulate the newly crowned king, thus gold makes sense as a recognition of royalty. Gold was a precious metal that was also attractive and long-lasting. Gold, according to most scholars, symbolized Jesus’ status as a king who would reign forever on an endless throne of glory. That relic belonged in the possession of royalty, even if that royalty resided in the house of a young, impoverished family. Some feel that the gold was something altogether else, which is a fascinating notion that is a little on the edge.
Unless it was a gold-en spice like turmeric, which some people believe it was, gold seems out of place – one of these things is not like the other – This line of reasoning may even be traced back to the production of balsam oil, which is obtained from the resin of balsam trees that grow in the same climate and location as the origins of frankincense and myrrh.
It has a component “renowned for its anti-inflammatory, local anesthetic, and antifungal activities,” and it was formerly called the Balm of Gilead.
There’s no big surprise here, and there’s no outlandish notion that implies something surprising. Only an antique incense that is still useful now may be described as such. Traditionally, the gift of frankincense was seen as an acknowledgement of Jesus’ priesthood, distinguishing him from a typical king and establishing him as a unique figure. Frankincense was used in the temple’s rituals, and priests would burn it in a ceremonial fire. Because it was not indigenous to that region, acquiring frankincense from the east was a time-consuming and expensive endeavor.
Because we now have the ability to evaluate the qualities and modes of action that substances such as frankincense resin and its essential oil maintain, we can discover benefits that go beyond aroma and ceremonial purposes.
Traditional medicine recommends frankincense because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties. Our understanding has expanded to include immune regulating properties, which might explain why it is used for both inflammatory sickness and antibacterial reasons. (4)
Myrrh, the most bittersweet of the presents, had been introduced to Egypt in large quantities for funeral ceremonies, and the practice had spread across the region. Myrrh was associated with death and burial even if it was not used in the mummification process. A depressing present for a new mother to grasp, but one that is lovely when viewed through the lens of her comprehension of his mission. But was it all that themyrrhwas meant to do? While myrrh was traditionally used for ceremonial purposes in the Middle East, it was also utilized for therapeutic purposes in the Far East.
- Myrrh was used in ancient China for similar purposes, including wound healing and bleeding control.
- In the same way that prophetic statements frequently had both immediate and long-term implications, it is possible that these talents followed a similar dual pattern.
- Whatever the case, it’s entertaining to be entertained — the subtleties of Scripture never fail to astound me!
- (6) While both the temple and Jesus’ improvised cradle were packed with fragrant compounds, they were also working to battle sickness and protect the people who lived in the vicinity.
- The three Magi, according to certain early church history documents, reunited years later to celebrate Christmas with one another, soon before they died.
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What is the Significance of the Wise Men’s Gifts? And, Were These Men Kings (or Magi)?
Don’t forget to check out the video at the end of the article! “WHO WERE THE WISDOM MEN?” has already been discussed. Then we responded with, “HOWDID THEY KNOW?” “Did the Three Wise Men Make Their Appearance?” At the end of the discussion, we’ll talk about “WHAT ISN’T THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WISE MEN’S GIFT?” and “Was It Really These Men Who Were Kings?” The Gospel of Matthew recounts of the gifts that the Wise Men delivered to Jesus(Matthew 2:1).
(Matthew 2:1). The Wise Men are likely to have had more than three presents, despite the fact that only three were named. We are also not told whether or not they were kings, even if they were noblemen.
We Three Kings?
A well-known Christmas carol about three kings and the presents they brought to Christ’s birth is performed every year in our church. Due to the fact that the Bible does not mention them as kings, the hymn is not literally valid. This belief is most likely based on the monetary worth of the presents that they gave to Jesus, as well as a misunderstanding of the meaning of the words in Isaiah 60 that talk of the Millennium Kingdom. These persons are referred to as “wise men” in the Bible (Matthew 2:1).
They inquired about the whereabouts of the King of the Jews, who had been born there.
Matthew 2:11 (KJV) And when they entered the home, they saw the small boy with Mary his mother, and they dropped on their knees and worshipped him; and when they had opened their treasures, they brought presents to him, including gold, frankincense, and myrrh, as well as other gifts as well.
They donated their time, talents, wealth, and testimony, among other things:
- They had traveled a long distance to see this Child—a gift of time
- They had followed His star—a gift of talent (read:How did the wise men know to follow His star? )
- And they had given their lives for this Child. It was their desire to worship Him that drove them to bring Him gifts—a present of wealth. When they arrived before Jesus, they “dropped down and worshipped Him.” They acknowledged both His Lordship and His Kingship in the process, which was a gift of evidence. In this article, you will learn what it means to live your life as a testament for Jesus. 3 Easy Steps! )
Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
The treasures that the three wise men brought were both valuable and significant in terms of prophetic significance. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh are all presents fit for a king, according to the Bible. As a sign of Christ’s divinity as King, frankincense represents His purity as a Priest of God, and myrh depicts His anointed labor as a Prophet and the event of His death, gold is used to indicate His deity as King. Look at what the Bible says about these gifts and what we sing about in the Christmas hymn “We Three Kings” to have a better understanding.
Gold = Kingship of God
In the Bible, gold is used to represent God. It is the most precious of all metals, and it is incredibly uncommon in its purest form, making it the most valuable. Since ancient times, the inherent worth of gold has been recognized, and gold has traditionally been used to honor rulers. King Solomon sat on an ivory throne that was lavishly decorated with the finest gold (1 Kings 10:18). The gold used in the Tabernacle’s furnishings is a sign of Christ’s divinity, and it is used to decorate the interior of the Tabernacle.
The mercy seat and two cherubim on either side of the mercy seat were constructed entirely of pure gold (Exodus 25:10-21).
Because gold is a pure and expensive metal, it is also connected with God’s laws, rules, and promises—all of which are perfect and pure and exceed any that are set by man.
The present of gold, given by one of the three wise men, alluded to the born Son, who was appointed by God to be King of His people and who was given this role by God. The gift of the wise man announced Jesus’ status as King at His birth (Matthew 2:2), as did the gifts of others throughout His life:
Jesus proclaimed Himself as King:
Matthew 27:11 (KJV) Now Jesus appeared before the governor. As a result, the governor approached Him and inquired, “Are You the King of the Jews?” As a result, Jesus told him, “It is as you say.”
Some of the people proclaimed Jesus King:
John 12:12-13 (NIV) When the people who had gathered for the feast learned that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem the following day, they were enraged. Taken palm branches in their hands, they walked out to meet him and shouted out, “Hosanna!” meaning “Blessed is the King of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Pilate proclaimed Jesus King:
John 18:39But you have a custom, that I should release vnto you one at the passover: will ye, therefore, agree that I release unto you the King of the Jews, as you have customarily done? Then he says to the Jews, “Behold your King!” (John 19:14). John 19:19Then Pilate inscribed a title on the cross and nailed it to the crucifixion. Jesus spoke 60 times about the Kingdom of God during His earthly ministry.That Kingdom is here on earth and can be found in the hearts of all who belong to Jesus.Jesus is our King and He rules and reigns in our hearts.Verse 2 – We Three KingsBorn a King on Bethlehem’s plain Gold I bring to crown Him again, King forever, ceasing never, Over us all to reign.Jesus is our King and He rules and reigns in our hearts.
Frankincense = High Priest of God
Frankincense is a fragrant, transparent resin derived from plants in northern India and Arabia that has a strong perfume (Isaiah 60:6; Jeremiah 6:20). It is used in incense and fragrances, and it was highly prized for its scent and medicinal abilities in ancient times. A component of the meat offering (Leviticus 2:16, 16; 6:15; 24:7) and a sweet savor, Frankincense was used in the Lord’s sanctuary (Exodus 30:34). It was also employed as a sweet savor in the temple of Solomon (incense). Frankincense is often used as a religious symbol (Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:10; Revelation 5:8; 8:3).
In this case, the gift of frankincense, given by one of the wise men, alluded to the work of Jesus as a Priest of God, who ministered to the people for three and a half years before his death.
Even the Son of Man did not come to be ministered to, but rather to minister and to sacrifice his life as a ransom for the sins of the world.
Myrrh = Prophet of God
Myrrh was a spice that was utilized in medicine, cosmetics, and anointing oil in ancient times. It was added to the oil that was used to anoint prophets before they began their divinely assigned task of exposing God and expressing His will and messages to His people on behalf of the people of God. As a Prophet, Jesus came to the country of Israel (Matthew 15:24), and He did so in fulfillment of a prophesy of Moses that read: Deuteronomy 18:15 is a biblical verse. The LORD thy God will raise up for thee a Prophet from among thee, one of thy brethren, who will be similar unto me; and unto Him you shall pay attention.
He claimed to be a Prophet in His own right, stating, “I am the Prophet.” Luke 13:33 (NIV) Nevertheless, I must walk today, tomorrow, and the day after that, for it is not possible for a prophet to expire outside of Jerusalem’s city walls.
13:57 (Matthew 13:57) They were angered by him, and they expressed their feelings to him. “But a prophet is not without honor, save in his own nation and in his own family,” Jesus responded to their question. In addition, Jesus’ actions as a Prophet verified His prophetic office:
- As a Prophet, Jesus carried out the Father’s instructions: 4:34 (John 4:34) ‘My flesh and blood are to execute the will of him who sent me and to complete his job,’ Jesus said to them. As a Prophet, Jesus carried out the will of the Father, which was as follows: 11:27 (Matthew 11:27) Every single item has been handed to me by my Father. As a Prophet, Jesus spoke the words of the Father, which were as follows: 8:28 (John 8:28) Then Jesus addressed them, saying. I do nothing on my own initiative
- Rather, following the example set by my Father, I utter these words.
12:49 (John 12:49) In fact, I haven’t spoken anything about myself; rather, the Father who sent me gave me specific instructions on what I should say and how I should say it. Another picture of the gift of myrrh is provided by the book of Revelation. Additionally, oil was utilized in the anointing of the dead, in addition to anointing prophets. In the presence of Jesus at His birth, myrrh was handed to him, alluding to His future life as a Prophet, and it was used at His death to prepare His body for burial.
So, after that day had passed, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome had gone out and purchased pleasant spices so that they may come and anoint him with them.
John 19:40 (NIV) Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it in linen cloths with the spices, as was the Jewish custom for burying a body.
Breathes a life of accumulating darkness; sobbing, moaning, bleeding, dying, and so forth I was sealed up in the ice cold grave.
King, Priest and Prophet
As King of Israel (Messiah), Priest of God (to atone for human sins), and Prophet of God (saying God’s words), Jesus came into the world to fulfill his mission. The gifts of the three wise men symbolized each of those duties in prophetic typology, and they pointed to everything that Jesus would do in His incarnation and exaltation as the Son of God. In the same way that the Wise Men gave of their time, skill, and riches, so should we give of ours as well. Let’s not forget one more “t” before we wrap things up: testimony!
Our testimony of His love and faithfulness, together with everything He has done and given to us.makes us smart men as well!
O star of wonder, star of night,Star of royal beauty shining bright,Westward leading, still proceeding,Guide us to thy flawless Light, O star of wonder, star of night, *}}} Please keep in mind that each of these three talents has a future prophetic type associated with it.
Only the prophetic character of these gifts, which were given to Jesus at His birth and which were realized in His incarnation, was discussed in this article.
We’ve seen the near fulfillment, and we’re keeping our eyes peeled for our Blessed Hope (Titus 2:13) and the distant fulfillment of His rule and reign on the earth, which we believe is still a long way off (Revelation 11:15). *}}}
What the Gifts of the Magi Tell Us about Jesus
The journey of the Magi to adore Jesus is commemorated on the feast of the Epiphany. It symbolizes the arrival of Jesus to all people — Gentiles and Jews alike – in one body. The Magi, who had traveled from afar to adore the Christ Child, had seen a star and decided to come. It was they who gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh – each of which reveals something about Jesus’ true nature to us.
What the Bible Tells Us about the Magi
When the Magi came to adore Jesus, it was called Epiphany. It heralds the arrival of Jesus to everyone — Gentiles as well as Jews. Following the light of the star, the Magi set out to worship Jesus at the birthplace of his son, Jesus. They presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, each of which contains information about Jesus’ identity.
Gold – the Kingship of Jesus
The magi’s gifts were more than just a show of riches; they also had a deeper significance. Jesus’ reign is symbolized by the gold. As Daniel 7:13-14 states: “As the visions during the night progressed, I saw coming with the clouds of heaven,” I saw coming with the clouds of heaven. One who resembles a son of man. When he arrived before the Ancient of Days and was introduced to him, he was bestowed with dominion, glory, and kingship; all countries, peoples, and tongues will be devoted to his service.
The Magi recognized that Jesus’ kingship extended beyond all earthly rulers, and they came to worship him as a result of their recognition.
Frankincense – the Deity of Jesus
The frankincense is a symbol of Jesus’ divinity. As a gift to God, frankincense was typically burnt in the temple throughout the time of the Old Testament (Leviticus 2:2). By presenting this gift, the Magi demonstrated that Jesus is more than just a normal man; he is totally human and fully divine. Because, as it says in Colossians 2:9-10, “in him dwells all the fullness of the deity bodily,” and you participate in this fullness in him, who is the head of every principality and power, you are part of the god.
Myrrh – the Death of Jesus
The present of myrrh, which is commonly used to embalm bodies, foreshadows the death of Jesus. We learn from John 19:38-40 that Nicodemus took myrh to the tomb of Jesus. Following this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was secretly a disciple of Jesus out of fear of the Jews, petitioned Pilate to allow him to take the body of Jesus from the tomb. And Pilate gave his approval. As a result, he arrived and seized his body. Nicodemus, the man who had initially approached him in the middle of the night, returned the next day with a combination of myrrh and aloes weighing around one hundred pounds.
They removed the corpse of Jesus and wrapped it with burial linens and spices in accordance with Jewish burial tradition.
We have eternal life as a result of Jesus’ death on the cross.
The Magi’s Gifts: Pointing to the Ultimate Gift
The present of myrrh, which is commonly used to embalm dead, foreshadows Jesus’ death since it is used to embalm bodies. John 19:38-40 records that Nicodemus brought myrh to the tomb of Jesus. Following this, Joseph of Arimathea, who had been hiding as a follower of Jesus out of fear for his life, requested Pilate if he may have the corpse of Jesus removed. Furthermore, Pilate gave his approval. As a result, he arrived and claimed his body. A combination of myrrh and aloes weighing about one hundred pounds was brought to him by Nicodemus, the first person to come to him in the night.
They removed the corpse of Jesus and wrapped it with burial linens and spices, following Jewish burial custom. So that we could be saved, Jesus was born into the world. We have eternal life because of Jesus’ death.
What did gold, frankincense, and myrrh represent?
The present of myrrh, which is commonly used to embalm bodies, foreshadows Jesus’ death. In John 19:38-40, we learn that Nicodemus took myrh to the tomb of Jesus. Following this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was secretly a disciple of Jesus out of fear of the Jews, petitioned Pilate to allow him to transfer the body of Jesus. And Pilate agreed to it. As a result, he arrived and snatched his body. Nicodemus, the man who had initially approached him in the middle of the night, returned with a combination of myrrh and aloes weighing around one hundred pounds.
Jesus was born in order for us to be saved.
Gold, frankincense, and myrrh were the gifts that the three wise men presented to Jesus according to Matthew 2:11. And when they entered the home, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they dropped to their knees and worshiped Him, and they gave Him with presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh from their treasuries, which He accepted. Matthew 2:11 (KJV) (NASB)
Gift of Gold
The gift of gold was regarded as befitting a king’s dignity. Kings and pharaohs of ancient times left behind monuments and riches that served as reminders that gold was the prize of rulers and kings. Gold was highly regarded by both secular and biblical royalty. The following two passages reveal that King Solomon obtained valuable gold and that King Nebuchadnezzar created a gold idol or image of himself in the form of a gold idol or image. Every one of King Solomon’s drinking glasses was made entirely of gold, and every vessel in his household’s residence in the Forest of Lebanon was made entirely of pure gold; silver was not regarded as precious during Solomon’s reign.
He erected the image on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
Gift of Frankincense
Frankincense is derived from the resin of trees. Frankincense was originally highly prized across the Middle East, from Rome to India, and it continues to be so today. In addition to being quite pricey, it has a beautiful scent. There are fifteen references to frankincense in the Bible. Upon investigation, it is discovered that it was largely utilized in biblical times for the preparation of incense (Exodus 30:34) and as an element in sacrifices (Leviticus 2:1-2). According to the Song of Solomon 3:6 and 4:14, it was also used as a component in perfume.
“Take for yourselves spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, spices with pure frankincense; there should be an equal amount of each,” the LORD instructed Moses. Exodus 30:34 (KJV) (NASB)
Gift of Myrrh
Various tree resins are used to make Frankincense. In ancient times, frankincense was highly prized across the Middle East, stretching from Rome to India. In addition to being quite pricey, it has a beautiful scent. There are fifteen references to frankincense in the Bible. When I looked it up on the internet, I discovered that it was most often used to make incense in biblical times (Exodus 30:34) and as an element in sacrifices (Leviticus 2:1-2). This element was also found in perfume, according to the Song of Solomon (3:6; 4:14).
Moses was instructed by the LORD to gather spices such as stacte and onycha and galbanum, as well as pure frankincense; there must be an equal amount of each type of spice.
Because gold, frankincense, and myrrh were highly treasured by kings and emperors at the time of Jesus’ birth, the magi presented him with three extremely expensive presents. The gift of gold belonged to a king, because Christ is the King of the universe. Because Christ was the anointed One who deserved our adoration, frankincense was a fitting present for Him to receive. Myrrh was a prophetic gift, indicating that Jesus would die in order to atone for the sins of the world. In relation to the three gifts, Dr.
Vernon McGee expresses the following sentiment.
He is born into the position of King.
The scent of myrrh conjures up images of His dying.
The Bible Thru the Eyes of a Child, by Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Nelson Publishing, 1983, vol. IV, p. 16.
The Biblical Accounts of the Christmas Story Gabriel Pays a Visit to Mary The Magnificat of Mary Joseph’s Imagination Jesus is born in the town of Bethlehem. The Arrival of the Magi to Pay a Visit to Jesus Where was Jesus when the three wise men came upon Him and presented Him with gifts? Is there any proof that Herod killed kids under the age of two in the modern era? What exactly does the name Immanuel mean? Is Isaiah 7:14-16 a prophesy concerning the coming of Jesus Christ?
What Is the Significance of the Three Gifts the Wise Men Offered to Jesus? — Beautiful Christian Life
Campbell Markham has been a pastor in the Australian Presbyterian Church for over twenty-two years and lives in Perth, Western Australia. Growing up, we used to leave out empty pillowcases next to our beds on the night before the holiday season. Every room would be crammed with gifts when they woke up in the morning. I once woke up on Christmas morning at an inconvenient hour. I could feel at the end of the bed that the bag was nearly full, but no one else was awake, not even the birds. It was futile to get back to sleep, and the following hour or so of waiting in the calm darkness was a little unpleasant as well.
Our overstuffed pillowcases would be escorted into the living room, where we would begin the heavenly task of withdrawing and unwrapping one nicely wrapped item after another.
What distinguished the sheep from the goats was the hardness of the wrapped present.
Hard presents were most likely to be toys, such as a Star Wars blaster, a board game, or something electronic, such as a Walkman (if you’re under the age of 38, contact an older person for help).
Clothes were more likely to be given as soft presents. Clothes are the most uninteresting thing there is.
The Magi presented three gifts to the child Jesus in Bethlehem.
A minister in the Australian Presbyterian Church for more than twenty-two years, Campbell Markham resides in Perth, Western Australia with his wife and two children. Growing up, we used to place empty pillowcases next to our beds on the night before Christmas. They would be bursting at the seams with gifts the next morning. When I was younger, I made the mistake of waking up too early on Christmas morning. It felt like there was a lot of stuff in the bag at the foot of the bed, but no one was awake save the birds.
- It was always a pleasant surprise to wake up to a chilly, clear morning in Perth, knowing that there would be plenty of swimming in the pool later.
- We were not deterred from evaluating the quality of the present, despite our parents’ incredible generosity.
- Put another way, a robust present received great marks, whilst a soft gift received low marks, If you’re under 38, a toy like a Star Wars blaster, a board game, or anything electronic like a Walkman (if you’re under 38, ask someone older) would be a good choice.
- Everything, even clothing, is boring.
Who were the “wise men” in Matthew 2:1-12?
Amagos was a sage, priest, and/or astrologer who lived during the time of the ancient Greeks. The words “magic” and “magician” are derived from the Greek wordmagos. These astrologers, who came from the east and followed a star, were most likely Persian astrologers, according to the plural form of Magi. The notion that there were three Magi, as depicted on our Christmas cards, is based on the presenting of three gifts. Matthew, on the other hand, just tells us that there were more than one of them.
What the Magi did when they eventually spotted the newborn Jesus, on the other hand, is something we can say with historical certainty.
The Magi sank on their knees before the newborn Jesus, their faces contorted in awe.
The magi “fell down andworshiped him.”
“What Persian wise man would come to commemorate the birth of a Jewish peasant?” many have questioned about the account of the Magi’s visit. Because of the oddity of their adoration, it draws attention to the magnificence of the infant. These travelers, who would have been extremely wealthy if they had undertaken such a long journey and were no doubt highly esteemed in their own country, recognized in the newborn Jesus someone who was far more deserving of praise and glory on a cosmic scale. Furthermore, the fact that non-Jewish pagan religious leaders came to worship Christ proclaims that the Savior came to save people from every tribe, country, and tongue, not only Jews.
We must also contrast the pagan Magi with Herod the Great, the alleged “King of the Jews.” Herod should have led his people in celebrating the birth of the Lord’s Anointed, as a Jewish leader should have done.
In Genesis 12:1-3, we see the beginning of what the Gospels will detail from beginning to end: Israel’s rejection of Jesus and his goal, which was conceived in Genesis 12:1-3, to extend his redemption benefits beyond the confines of Israel to all nations.
Let’s now look at the significance of those first “Christmas gifts.”
Gold is considered to be a rare and valuable metal. At the time of this writing, it costs about $70,000 per kg. Gold has always been considered extremely precious, and until we reach the Celestial City and walk on it like asphalt, it will continue to be considered extremely valuable. Frankincense is the dried sap of the Boswellia sacratree tree, which is native to the Horn of Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula and gets its name from an old French phrase meaning “clean incense.” Little holes are chipped into the bark, and the sap pours out in small tears, which are then collected after they have been allowed to dry completely.
- 2, p.
- It was employed for embalming by the ancient Egyptians.
- God instructed Moses to prepare a special ointment with this uncommon fragrance while in the desert: ‘Take delicious spices, such as stacte and onycha, as well as galbanum, and blend them with pure frankincense (each should have an equal proportion),’ the Lord instructed Moses.
- (See Exodus 30:34-35 for further information.) Myrrh, like frankincense, is made from dried sap, in this instance from theCommiphora myrrha, which is described as “a low thorny tree” (ISBE, p.
- Myrrh is used in fragrances and cosmetics, and it was also one of the components in the sacred anointing oil that was used to sanctify Old Testament priests before they were ordained (Exod.
- The soldiers or the ladies who accompanied Jesus to Golgotha offered him “wine mingled with myrrh” just before he was nailed on the cross, but he refused to accept the gift.
After Jesus’ death, according to John, Nicodemus “came bearing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing approximately seventy-five pounds” (John 19:39), and Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus “took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews” (John 19:40).
The myrrh was used to halt the decomposition process and disguise the stink of decay, and the fact that it was used suggests that Jesus’ supporters did not anticipate his resurrection to take place soon.
Gold, frankincense, and myrrh also appear in the list of luxury goods in Revelation 18.
Gold, frankincense, and myrrh are among the luxury items mentioned in Revelation 18:12-13 that the “merchants of the earth weep and sorrow” over because, following God’s vengeance on Babylon, no one would be interested in them any longer, according to the Bible. This demonstrates the high monetary worth that these objects have in today’s society. Aside from that, the Queen of Sheba presented King Solomon with “120 talents of gold” in addition to “a tremendous number of spices and beautiful stones.” “Never again would such an abundance of spices as those given to King Solomon by the Queen of Sheba be seen again” (1Kings 10:10).
All monarchs will submit to him, and all countries will be devoted to his service (verses 10-11).
By giving those presents, the Queen honored Solomon as a great King, and by offering their adoration and lavish royal gifts to Jesus, the Magi worshiped Jesus as their great Sovereign and King as well. They demonstrated to him that he was the fulfillment of Psalm 72.
The Magi’s presents pointed forward to Jesus’ great high-priestly work.
The early church Fathers tended to assign metaphorical significance to each gift, such as gold representing Jesus’ kingship, frankincense representing his divinity, and myrrh representing his humanity. Jesus, without a doubt, embodies all of these characteristics. Modern academics, on the other hand, prefer to discourage the search for particular importance, stating that it is the overall “character of the gifts” that is striking, rather than their possible application. “The first and typical recognition of Christ by people who had heretofore been ‘far away;” and their donations as “symbolic of the whole world’s tribute,” according to Alfred Edersheim, for example (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Vol.
May the Magi’s gifts remind us this year of God’s gift of His Son.
The early church Fathers sought to assign metaphorical significance to each gift: gold represented Jesus’ royal status, frankincense represented his divinity, and myrrh represented his humanity, among other things, Jesus, without a doubt, embodies all of these qualities. Most modern academics, however, oppose the search for particular significance, stating that it is the overall “character of the talents” that is striking, rather than their possible application. Alfred Edersheim, for example, claims that the Magi’s adoration was “the first and typical acknowledgment of Christ by people who had hitherto been ‘far away;’ and their sacrifices as emblematic of the world’s tribute” (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Vol.
- Emmanuel, come, come, Emmanuel
- Who Are Those Two Gentlemen? This article is about the Three Wise Men and what you should know about them. Christmas, the Winter’s Interrupter, is a holiday celebrated on December 25th. People responded to the news of Jesus’ birth in three different ways in Matthew’s Gospel—and what this means to you today Are you missing out on the gift of a good and abundant life
- If so, what are you waiting for?