Gifts (Day 23)
“When the magi, the wise men, went into the house, they saw the child with His mother Mary and they bowed down and they worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasure chests and they offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” ~ Matthew 2:11
Oh how I love these wise guys – I mean wise men. They travelled 6 months over a far Eastern desert in search of a savior. They were true spiritual seekers who wanted to discover what God was up to in the world. After a pit stop at Herod’s house in Jerusalem, they finally headed the final 6 miles south to the town of Bethlehem where they would find the child with his mother Mary. I love the symbolism of the gifts that they bring, but first I believe they realize the gift they have found in Jesus.
This baby is fully unique. They split history over his life (B.C. – A.D.) He was no mere baby but the Divine Son of God who had come to offer his life as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. The Son of God was born of men, that men might be born of God. Jesus is the gift that must be recognized for his worth, and we must receive Him, trusting His precious and costly blood shed in place of our sin. People spend large sums of money on Christmas gifts for others each year. Yet the whole idea of gift giving began with the most extravagant gift ever given – “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”
The Wise men arrived at the place where Mary was staying with her baby Jesus. They had brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh but the true gift they brought was their worship and adoration. Scripture tells us they went into the house and bowed down and worshipped him. They didn’t bow and worship before Mary. They bowed before Jesus and worshipped him. Have you ever worshipped a baby? They they opened their treasure chests to him The sense of an offering overflowing from the worship of the heart. Their gifts then cut to the chase, bringing prophetic insight into the nature of this King. First there was gold which was a gift usually given to Kings. Their worship and gift declared that Jesus is born King. He is the King of Kings. The Frankincense was a type of incense used in the temple as an act of worship. It was a rare, expensive and aromatic spice that was regularly burned in the temple in worship – the smoke and aromatic smell rising to the heavens as a picture of worship. This gift was a sign that Jesus was not only King, but He was God.
Finally they brought myrrh, a peculiar spice. It was rare and expensive and often used to embalm dead bodies. They would wrap the corpse in cloths that were covered with myrrh. This would reduce the odor and help embalm the body. So they brought a death spice… ugggh. Or maybe the most prophetic sign of all that this baby didn’t come to live, but He came to die and to give his life for us all. Jesus had come as our Savior. What a beautiful moment of worship as someone wise men have been given a glimpse of heaven’s joy in Jesus – and they have the sense to worship Him as King, as God, and as Savior! Hallelujah. Merry Christmas.
·Have you truly received the gift of Jesus. People can be around the gift of Jesus all their lives but not truly open their heart in surrender to Him. You cannot just be around the gift of Jesus, you must surrender and submit to Him, and receive Him into your life.
·What do you think of the worship moment with the bowing and gift giving? How does this speak to you?
·What gift do you want to bring to Jesus?
ACTIVATE YOUR FAITH
·Bring your gift to Jesus. Any gift we bring is not about works or purchasing God’s favor. We bring free will gifts of love and gratitude to the One who means everything to us? We bring gifts to Him because He is worthy of it all. What do you bring to Jesus today?
·Have you ever knelt, bowed, or literally laid on your face before Jesus in worship and submission? How about you give it a try. Put your body and posture in the most humbling position before Him possible just as an act of your worship to Him.