From the Bible
Matthew Chapter 2 verses 1-11 – BibleGateway.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The Message for us in the Wise Men’s gifts.
This perfume was used to embalm bodies for burial.
Jesus died and His death is as a sweet perfume for us. As we die to self and live through Christ our lives become a fragrant offering back to him.
Jesus the fragrant sacrifice
Ephesians 5:2 and walk in love just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.
We are the aroma of Christ and the fragrance that brings life
2 Corinthians 15: 16-15 For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one, we are an odour of death and demise; to the other, a fragrance that brings life.
The priests in ancient times used this spice during worship and it represented prayer. Jesus prayed often to the Father while on earth and his prayers were very sweet indeed for us, as because of His obedience to God He entered heaven and became our high priest to advocate for us.
Hebrews 4: 14-16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
We are priests now too because of Jesus sacrifice and our prayers through Christ are as sweet incense to God.
Revelation 1: 6 And from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
In Psalm 141:2 David prays that his prayer will be as sweet incense to the Lord and in Revelation 5.8 there are twenty four elders in heaven holding up the prayers of the saints in golden bowls smelling of sweet incense before the throne of God. This picture shows just how valuable and sweet our prayers are to God.
One of the Wise Men honoured Jesus through a precious gift of gold.
Psalm 119:127 Therefore I love Your commandments above gold, yes, above fine gold.
Matt 5:17 says that Jesus fulfilled the commandments of God. Jesus is known as the Word of God and His words are ‘above gold’.
Psalm 19: 9-10 …9The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true, being altogether righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey than honey in the comb.
1 Peter 1-7 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer various trials, so that the authenticity of your faith more precious than gold which perishes even though refined by fire may result in praise, glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
In the above verses, the commandments, the fear and judgements of the Lord, and our trials through faith are MORE PRECIOUS than Gold.
The Wise-Men gave the most precious earthly gift of Gold to baby Jesus. Gold has to be heated and tested before it is made pure. God takes us through the heat of our trials and testing through his perfect will and commandments to bring out something that is MORE precious than Gold in us so that WE CAN OFFER IT BACK TO HIM – just as the Wise Men gave their most precious gift of Gold.
The Wise Men’s gifts tell us so much more about our lives in Christ when we dig deeper into God’s Word.
© D A Cleland.
May God Bless you this Christmas with His Love and Grace.
Image from Allwallps.com