7Then Herod privily called the Wise-men, and learned of them exactly what time the star appeared. 8And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search out exactly concerning the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word, that I also may come and worship him. 9And they, having heard the king, went their way; and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. 10And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; and opening their treasures they offered unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way (Matthew 2.7-14, ASV).
Memory Verse – And when they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary his mother; and they fell down and worshipped him; – Matthew 2.10-11a
As far as most of us are concerned the Christmas event is about over. As soon as the wise men present their gifts to the Christ child, for us, there is not much more to this event. Yes, there is the terrible tragedy with Herod and killing all the male children under 2 years old (Matthew 2.16-18). And there is Jesus fleeing to Egypt (Matthew 2.13-15).
But let us all be honest; we do not put much time or effort into those parts of the Christmas event. We might remember them, or understand they happened, and if we are a serious Bible student, we might study them a little deeper, but beyond this we do not spend much time with these two events. In this devotional we will not but, it will be our Deeper Thinking task today.
Today we will focus on the three gifts the wise men brought to the young child. But first, how did they react upon seeing our Lord Jesus Christ for the first time. The Word says, “they fell down and worshiped him” (Matthew 2.11, ESV). Imagine seeing Christ for the first time, the One True God who you have been searching for your whole life. This is all your life has been devoted to, and now your search is over. You are able to fall at the Feet of the Savior of the world and Worship Him.
Giving Him all the Honor and Glory which is rightly due Him. Charles Wesley in a great Christmas hymn, “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” wrote, “Christ by highest heav’n adored, Christ the everlasting Lord: Late in time, behold Him come, Offspring of a virgin’s womb. Veiled in flesh the Godhead see, Hail th’incarnate Deity! Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our Immanuel. Hark! the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the newborn King.’ What a wonderful site the wise men must have beheld seeing our Lord on that day.
They presented Him three gifts. Now Matthew does not tell us anything about these gifts, but we can look at what they are and understanding the Bible and culture; while have the hind sight of the Bible make some pretty good judgments about what each gift means in relation to Jesus Christ.
We must understand their gifts were not more worship or another kind of worship, but was an extension of the worship they were already involved in. Remember when they saw Christ they fell down and worshiped Him. Their hearts, minds and souls were in the right place, therefore, their gifts, offerings to Christ, were a continued extension of their worship.
We can bring anything to God we want to, but if our hearts, minds, and souls are in the wrong place then so will be our gift to God. God said what He wants most is a cheerful giver, “Let each man do according as he hath purposed in his heart: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9.7, ASV). Henceforth, our attitude is just as important in giving as it is in worship, the wise men rejoiced at seeing where Jesus Christ was, and fell down and worshiped Him and they presented to Him gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.
For most of us we are familiar with Gold, it is a precious metal and is used as currency in many cultures. Kings always have gold in their vaults and storehouses. They use it to trade, buy and barter for anything and everything. In Jesus’ day, the more gold you had the more powerful you were.
Christ is not King because He has the most gold; He is King of the world because He gave Himself for it as an atoning sacrifice. Therefore, Christ is the Savior of the world and the true King of the world, but we must accept Him as sovereign Lord. As wonderful as Jesus’ saviorhood was to the early Christians, their first known creed was “Jesus is Lord,” acknowledging His rule. Before we can be Christ’s friends, we must be His subjects. He must be our Lord before He can be our elder Brother.
Frankincense was a costly, beautiful-smelling incense that was used for the most special of occasions. It was used during certain offerings at the Tabernacle and Temple. Origen, the great church Father, suggested that frankincense was the incense of deity.
Finally, they gave Him a gift of Myrrh, a perfume although not as expensive as frankincense, however, it was still valuable. Some interpreters suggest that myrrh represents the gift for a mortal, emphasizing Jesus’ humanity. But some see this gift representing His death as this perfume is mixed with other spice and used in preparation to bury one’s body, including Jesus Christ (John 19.39).
What wonderful and magnificent gifts given to a young child; one these wise men had never met including His parents. But when we look deep into their intent it was not to help the parents or to make themselves look good, but to bring honor and glory to the One True Living God, Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior.
Lord, You are worthy of all Glory and Honor. I will lift my voice in praise to You every day. As the Psalmist says kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all judges of the earth, young men as well as young women, old and young together. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted. His majesty covers heaven and earth. He has raised up a horn for His people, resulting in praise to all His faithful ones, to the Israelites, the people close to Him. Hallelujah!  Lord, I will praise You every day for all You have done in my life; for Your Son’s free gift. Lord, I will share Your gospel with others today and every day until Christ returns. I pray all this in Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (Mt 2:7–12). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 2:11). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 Logos Hymnal. (1995). (1st edition.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (2 Co 9:7). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 36). Chicago: Moody Press.
 Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Ps 148:11–14). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
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