… and when they came into the house they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him and they opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold and frankincense and myrrh.Matthew 2:11
Jesus is the reason for Christmas and gifts were presented to him. These gifts were significant to his purpose on earth, then, and still have its significance to us today. There are many lessons to learn from the actions of the wise men in the presentation of their gifts to Jesus, but one major lesson is that their gifts were out of their treasures. The gifts have its cost, and of course, have its meaning.
The gifts the wise men presented to Jesus are
- Gold: Over centuries gold has been considered as an object of value all over the world. One reason gold is important is that it is rare, which means it has limited supply. There is only a certain number of gold in the world and it is circulated amongst wealthy people.
- Frankincense: Frankincense is used as a perfume
- Myrrh: Myrrh is commonly used as an embalming oil
The spiritual implication of the gift presented to Jesus
- Gold is a symbol of kingship, the child Jesus was born King. This was why the centre point and the emphasis of Jesus’ message are the Kingdom of God (Matt. 4:23). The wise men, having read the star had the insight that the child born is a king and presented him with Gold. It is important to know that Jesus was born king to the earth. A gift of gold should be our offering at every encounter with him, and even in the day designated to celebrate his birth. An understanding that he is a king at birth and he came to introduce a kingdom to the world is a golden revelation.
- Frankincense is incense offered to a deity. Frankincense is not a gift offered to men, it has its special use in sacrifice to a deity. The wise men through their gifts showed us another interesting revelation that the King born is a God. The wise men had insight into the wisdom of God and they too note from their observation of the star that the child born was a God. It is not a matter of contention amongst Christian whether Jesus is God or not, but it is important to be conscious that Jesus is God and should always be offered incense, i.e. our prayers and worship (Exodus 30:7-9, Deuteronomy 33:10).
- Myrrh is a symbol of death, a symbol that the born King and the born God is also a Man. The wise men gave gifts that revealed the ancient secret of how God intends to give back dominion to man. The King will not die, because he came with his kingdom and kingdom is not of this world but it is in this world (John 18:36). God cannot die, because he is God. Only the man can die, only the man can feel the pain (Hebrew 4:15).
The implications of the Christmas gifts are more spiritual than it is physically, it is, therefore, important to meditate on each of the gifts for more insight requesting the Holy Spirit to show you how you can offer a gift of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.
What are the representations of the Christmas gifts to us today
- Gold symbolises virtue. It is depicted as an asset of value, godly characters, fire and fire represent God’s presence.
- Frankincense represents prayer and worship (Revelation 8:3-5)
- Myrrh signifies suffering for Christ and offering for sacrifice (Romans 12:1, 2 Timothy 2:12)
All these are worthy gifts to give to our King, God and saviour Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.