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.
Incense was also given as a thoughtful gift. It was employed in the temple’s religious ceremonies. It was used in conjunction with the oil that was used to anoint the priests of the nation of Israel. It was included in the meal offerings, which were intended to be expressions of gratitude and worship to God. They did so in order to draw attention to Christ as our great High Priest, the one whose entire life had been acceptable and well pleased to his Father.
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 until 2000, JAMES MONTGOMERY BOICE served as senior minister of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church and as an outspoken advocate for the Reformed religion.
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What Are the Three Gifts Given to Baby Jesus?
Photograph by.marilyna/iStock/Getty Images One of the most popular biblical Christmas tales speaks of three kings, usually referred as magi or wise men, who for 12 days followed the North Star to the manger of the infant Jesus in Bethlehem.
According to the Gospel of Matthew, this story served as the inspiration for Three Kings Day, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, which is celebrated on January 6th by Christians across Spain and Latin America.
1Three Prophetic Gifts
According to the book of Matthew, the three magi, later named as Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, presented the Christ infant with three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which were later recognized as gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In this case, gold indicated a recognition of Jesus’ monarchy, while frankincense represented his future function as priest. As a funeral ointment, myrrh alluded to Jesus’ death on the cross and, hence, his role as the Redeemer of the world. Since beginning her professional journalism career in 2007, Nathalie Alonso has covered a wide range of issues for newspapers and publications in New York City, including arts, culture, and travel.
She graduated from Columbia University with a B.A.
Gold, Frankincense & Myrrh – The Truth About Their Significance
According to the book of Matthew, the three magi, later named as Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, presented the Christ infant with three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which were later recognized as gold, frankincense, and myrrh, respectively. Gold indicated an acceptance of Jesus’ reign, while frankincense represented his future duty as a priest in the kingdom. Foreshadowing Jesus’ death on the cross and, thus, his function as redeemer, myrrh served as a funeral anointing. From 2007 until the present, Nathalie Alonso has worked as a professional writer, covering a wide range of subjects for newspapers and publications in New York City.
She graduated from Columbia University with a B.A.
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 meaning of the presents 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, as some people believe it was, gold appears 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 affirmation of Jesus’ priesthood, distinguishing him from a conventional king and establishing him as a unique figure. Frankincense was employed 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)
In this case, there is no significant surprise, no outlandish hypothesis that implies anything unexpected. Nothing but a centuries-old incense that is still effective today. As a symbol of Jesus’ priesthood, the gift of frankincense is claimed to have distinguished him from a traditional monarch by distinguishing him from others. It was employed in the temple rituals and was ceremonially burnt by the priests as part of their rites of initiation. Due to the fact that frankincense was not indigenous to that region, procuring it from the east was expensive.
Given that we can now examine the qualities and modes of action that substances such as frankincense resin and its essential oil retain, we may discover additional benefits that go beyond aroma and ceremonial usage.
Our understanding has expanded to include immune modifying actions, which may explain why it is used for both inflammatory sickness and antibacterial reasons.
Why Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh Were Given to Baby Jesus
As we all know from our nativity scenes, some very important guests attended the birth of Jesus: three wise men from the east, who brought presents for the newborn king in the form of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for the newborn king to open. According to Matthew 2:11, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “It is written, “When they arrived at the house, they were greeted by the child and his mother Mary, and they immediately fell to their knees and worshipped him.
Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, among other things.” Comparing the story we tell to the Bible’s account of the royal visit, we find that it is frequently embellished with a little extra information.
One part of the visit that has mostly remained intact is the list of gifts that were brought to Jesus, which included gold, frankincense, and myrrh among others.
They were definitely gifts worthy for a king, and their immense value was the most important aspect of the gifts’ symbolic meaning.
In any case, without delving too deep into extra-biblical conjecture, it’s feasible to derive a few probable meanings from the gifts delivered by the three wise men. The purpose of these priceless presents was plainly to glorify Jesus, but it’s likely that they also had a deeper theological meaning.
The Gift of Gold
As was traditional for royal visits, the wise men arrived with precious presents intended to be given to the newborn king in his honor. As it is now, gold was a highly prized item in the ancient world as it is today. The acquisition of gold was one of the most important markers of wealth among the various sorts of assets mentioned in the Bible (such as precious metals, animals, servants, jewels, and so on) (cf.Genesis 13:2, Ecclesiastes 2:8). Because of its rarity and high worth, gold was particularly linked with monarchy and aristocracy, as can be seen in 1 Kings 10 when the Queen of Sheba pays a visit to King Solomon and presents him with vast sums of gold.
Some have speculated that the wise men’s gift of gold may have predicted another part of Jesus’ mission, in addition to highlighting his royal status.
In the same way, the incarnation of Jesus foreshadowed the presence of God—Immanuel—as well as the sacrifice of atonement he would make on their behalf when he died on the cross.
The Gift of Frankincense
It is an aromatic gum resin that is still widely used in regions of the Middle East and Africa today. Frankincense comes from the tree of the same name. It is made by scraping the bark of specific native species of trees and then gathering the resin beads that have formed as a result of the drying process. A powerful and attractive scent is released when the herb is burnt as incense. Historically, the high expense of frankincense prevented it from being utilized as a popular household air freshener in the ancient Near East.
So the gift of frankincense to Jesus may have suggested to the wise men that they believed the prophesy of the newborn king to be an assertion of divine authority.
When God designed the sacrificial system for use in the Tabernacle and, subsequently, the Temple, one of its most important components was the burning of incense at the altar.
The only incense authorized on the altar was a particular combination of spices blended with “pure frankincense” (v.
34), which had to be sanctified as “pure and holy” (v. 35) and consecrated as such. One might make a hypothetical analogy between this and Jesus’ life as a clean and holy gift to the Lord, as is described in the Bible.
The Gift of Myrrh
Originally from the Near East, myrrh is a fragrant spice made from the sap of a tree that bears the same name. As with frankincense, it may be used as an aromatic incense, but it was also widely employed in the ancient world as a perfume, anointing oil, and even as a medical tonic, according to certain sources. Myrrh was a vital element in the mixture of spices that was used to prepare bodies for burial during Jesus’ lifetime, and it was particularly significant in Jesus’ life (e.g.,John 19:39-40).
Myrrh, like the other two gifts, has a relationship to the Temple, just as the previous two gifts did.
Again, there are direct analogies to Jesus’ consecrated life and sacrificial death that might be drawn to mind.
What Did Mary and Joseph Do with the Gifts?
The riches of the nations, as described in Isaiah 60:6, is being brought to God’s people via Christ. When Mary and Joseph received the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they saw a glimpse of what was to come. And in this particular instance, it is possible that the family’s riches was utilized to assist them in escaping to another country. According to Matthew, as soon as the wise men had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, warning him of Herod’s wrath to come (Matthew 2:13).
A journey of this size would be tough to pull off for a family with little financial resources.
Now that we understand the significance of the presents delivered to Baby Jesus, let us consider the relevance of the people who provided the gifts.
Who Were the Wise Men?
Consider the following passage from the Bible, which describes these pilgrims and their journey to meet the predicted king: Then, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem and inquired, saying, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?” Because we saw his star as it rose in the sky and have come to pay homage to him.” Herod the king, as well as everyone of Jerusalem, were alarmed upon hearing this, and he summoned all of the top priests and scribes of the people to ask them where the Christ would be born.
- They said that they did not know where the Christ would be born.
- ” Then Herod called the three wise men in private and inquired of them as to what time the star had appeared on the horizon.
- It was then that they noticed a bright light rising above the horizon that followed them until it came to settle above the location where the youngster was.
- In the midst of their adoration, they discovered the infant with Mary his mother, and they dropped on their knees and worshipped him.
- And after being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they decided to take a different route back to their own country.
- But who were these folks in the first place?
- Magi, for example, were considered as essential consultants in the Medo-Persian Empire because of their understanding of science, agriculture, and magic, all of which was in demand at the time.
- At some point during the first century AD, magi had become more widely known as men who studied sacred writings and experimented with occult practices.
- Despite the fact that they were present throughout the region, magi were most commonly associated with the Parthian Empire, which was located east of Palestine (present-day Iran).
Even after the Babylonian captivity, remnants of Jewish culture continued to exist in that region, and it’s likely that the Hebrew Scriptures were among the sacred writings that these wise men studied in their quest for knowledge and understanding.
The Nations Shall Come to You
A different perspective on the wise men and their gifts might be gained by looking at them through the prism of global missions. Israel was never supposed to be a halting point in the flow of grace; rather, God invited them to be a light for other peoples across the world. One of the most vivid depictions of this concept may be found in Isaiah 60, which describes a future period in which the nations would be pulled to the brilliance of Israel—”nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising”—and the people of Israel would be drawn to them (Isaiah 60:3).
- A variety of perspectives may be taken on the Bible’s account of the three wise men’s visit, even though the story is pretty basic.
- Beyond that, they may have also had associations with the Temple and perhaps served as a metaphor to Jesus’ worldwide mission.
- Scott James is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, where he serves as an Elder.
- He is the author of two family worship books (The Expected One: Anticipating All of Jesus in the AdventandMission and The Expected One: Anticipating All of Jesus in the AdventandMission).
- The Watchman on the Wall is a fictional character created by author Stephen King in the novel The Littlest Watchman.
- As part of our largerChristmas and Advent resource library, which focuses on the events leading up to Jesus Christ’s birth, we’ve included this piece here.
- What really is Christmas?
The history of the 25th of December The Bible’s account of Jesus’ birth, as well as Scripture verses Bible Verses for the Holidays The Bible’s Narrative Prayers for the Holidays The following are the photo credits, listed in the order of appearance: Pexels/Tookapic, Unsplash/JackT, Pixabay/xbqs42, Pixabay/Leo 65, Unsplash/GarethHarper, Unsplash/JakubJacobsky, Pexels/InbalMalca, Unsplash/GarethHarper, Unsplash/JakubJacobsky, Pexels/InbalMalca
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 presents that the Three Wise Men delivered to Jesus are recounted in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 2:1). The Wise Men are likely to have had more than three presents, despite the fact that only three were named.
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).
The purity and value of gold are also connected with God’s laws, principles, and promises—all of which are perfect and pure, and which exceed any standards established 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) Jesus was now standing in front of 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 claim.”
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:
18:39 (John 18:39) But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover: would you agree that I should release the King of the Jews to you? Then he says to the Jews, “Behold your King!” (John 19:14). 19:19 (John 19:19) Pilate then inscribed a title on the cross and nailed it to it. The inscription on the wall read, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE. During His earthly career, Jesus talked about the Kingdom of God 60 times in different contexts. That Kingdom is present on this planet and may be found in the hearts of people who are followers of Jesus.
Verse 2: “We Three Kings” (We Three Kings) King on Bethlehem’s plain gold, I bring Him back to reign over us all as King forever and never ceasing to be a King.
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).
It also serves as a representation of the priest’s role in bringing the prayers of the people before the Lord (Luke 1:10, Revelation 8:3-5).
Mark 10:45 a.m.
3rd verse – We, the Three Kings I have Frankincense to present; Incense is the property of a Deity close by; prayer and praise, voices raised, Worshipping God from on high.
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 Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” According to the biblical account: We caught a glimpse of his growing star and have come to pay our respects to him.” Following their meeting with the king, they set out on their journey. When they got there, they noticed that the star that they had seen at its rise had preceded them all the way to the spot where the youngster was hiding.
They bowed their heads in reverence and paid him homage.
And, after receiving a warning in a dream not to return to Herod, they decided to take a different route back to their homeland.
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 saw that Jesus’ reign extended beyond all earthly rulers, and they came to adore him as a result of their recognition.
Frankincense – the Deity of Jesus
In addition to being a display of riches, the magi’s gifts had a more profound significance. Jesus’ reign is symbolized by the gold on the cross. The Bible reads in Daniel 7:13-14, “As the visions during the night proceeded, I saw approaching with the clouds of heaven,” which means “coming with the clouds of heaven.” One who resembles a son of man, for example. Before the time he arrived at the Ancient of Days and was introduced to him, he was bestowed with dominion, glory, and majesty; all countries, people, and tongues will be devoted to him.
The Magi saw that Jesus’ reign extended beyond all earthly rulers, and they came to adore him as a result.
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.
The complete story of Jesus’ arrival is presented in this manner. So that we can be saved, Jesus was born into this world. We have eternal life as a result of Jesus’ death on the cross.
The Magi’s Gifts: Pointing to the Ultimate Gift
The gifts of the Magi shed light on the various facets of Christ’s personae and mission. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and in his great generosity, he died in order that we could live. As the Magi aggressively sought Jesus, so too should we follow Christ without hesitation, allowing him to serve as our guiding star as we go through life. When it comes to knowing where Jesus was born, like the scribes did, it is not enough if we do not go to the place where he was born.
- When his location becomes our place, when his time becomes our time, when his person becomes our life, then the predictions come to fruition in us and we become the fulfillment of them.
- For me, he takes on the nature of a living God.
- They do not engage in dispute; instead, they proceed.
- They do not place themselves as the focus of attention, but instead bow down before the One who is the center of attention.
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 pricey indicated the depth of their selfless love and devotion 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 ancient church believed that the three sorts of gifts clearly symbolized three fundamental characteristics of Christ’s personality, and therefore they were divided into three categories. In this case, the gold represents Jesus’ monarchy, the frankincense represents his divinity, and the myrrh represents his humanity. As a matter of fact, some have argued that the Magi “preached” the gospel in a concrete sense through the gifts they bestowed upon the infant Jesus. Whether they realized it or not, their presents represented the tale of God himself, who descended from Heaven in the form of our King (gold) to perform his priestly responsibilities (frankincense) and finally die for our sins (frankincense) (myrrh).
At the beginning of Jesus’ life, as well as at the conclusion of his life, when he was hanging on the cross (Mark 15:23) and subsequently being buried in the tomb, this element was given to him here (John 19:39).
And, as a result of his resurrection, we have the opportunity to have eternal life.
First and foremost, we must understand that the central message of the Magi tale, gift-giving, and the remainder of the Christmas (or Advent) holiday is that Jesus Christ came to earth to die in order to provide salvation for sinners — meaning people like you and me — who have fallen away from God (1 Timothy 1:15;Luke 19:10).
- Second, just as the Three Wise Men replied to the heavenly light above them by going to Jesus and worshipping him, the Christmas season calls on all of us to respond to Jesus in one way or another during this season of giving.
- This is due to the fact that Christmas provides us with the gospel, and the gospel demands that we respond to it.
- We must, however, make a decision about what we will worship.
- When we bow our hearts to him and put our precious “gifts” in front of him, we are expressing that he alone can fulfill our hearts, and this is because Jesus is the one true King.
- Whoever goes in search of him will find him every time.” iStock/Getty Images Plus/Gama5 are credited with this image.
- The couple has been married since 2008 and have three children, Brooklyn, Bryson, and Abram.
- After completing his undergraduate studies at North Greenville University in South Carolina, Robert went on to complete his Masters at Liberty University in Virginia.
- He has worked in a number of roles including worship pastor, youth pastor, family pastor, church planter, and presently Pastor of Worship and Discipleship at Cheraw First Baptist Church.
To serve God and His Church, he has set himself a life purpose of reaching the unreached with the gospel, discipling and inspiring others to go even farther in their spiritual journeys, and establishing a culture of multiplication for the glory of God. More information on him may be found here.
What Is the Significance of the Three Gifts the Wise Men Offered to Jesus? — Beautiful Christian Life
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 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 always a pleasant surprise to wake up to a cold, clear morning in Perth, knowing that there would be plenty of time for swimming later on.
- Our parents’ incredible generosity did not, however, prevent us from internally evaluating the quality of the present.
- To put it clearly, a sturdy gift received a high rating, whereas a soft present received a low rating.
- Clothes were more likely to be given as soft presents.
The Magi presented three gifts to the child Jesus in Bethlehem.
But what about the gifts that were delivered during the first Christmas—the three gifts that the Magi brought to the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem—and how did they fit into the story? Matthew is the only one who tells us the story: After listening to the king’s speech, they continued their journey. It was then that they noticed a bright light rising above the horizon that followed them until it came to settle above the location where the youngster was. When they spotted the star, they were overjoyed and filled with a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
They then presented him with presents, including gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which they had opened from their riches.
(See Matthew 2:9-12) There is no indication as to how long this occurred following Jesus’ birth.
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 assumption that there were three Magi, as depicted on our Christmas cards, is based on the giving of three gifts. Matthew, on the other hand, only tells us that there were more than one of them.
What the Magi did when they finally found the baby Jesus, on the other hand, is something we can say with historical certainty.
They “fell to their knees and worshipped him.” The term “worship” was traditionally used to describe prostration before a king, usually in order to kiss the hem of his robe. The Magi fell to their knees before the baby 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.
It is also necessary to draw a contrast between the pagan Magi and Herod the Great, the presumed “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. As a result, myrrh is strongly associated with the crucifixion and burial of Jesus.
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).
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.
Overall, I agree, but the close Old Testament association of frankincense with priests, and the close Gospel association of myrrh with Jesus’ death and burial, lead me to believe that the Magi’s gifts were not just any old precious and expensive gifts, but rather pointed forward to Jesus’ great high-priestly work, the offering up of himself as a sacrifice for the sins of his people from every corner of the world.
During this season of giving, may the gifts of the Magi serve as a reminder of God’s gift of His Son, the Great King, who was offered as a sacrifice for the world, “so that whomever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
- 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?