The Wise Men and Their Gifts

We are entering the Christmas season, and most of us are thinking about gifts that we need to buy for others and the holiday season. As we are going about this busy season, we should reflect on the wise men which brought gifts to the baby Jesus. What gift could we possibly give to Jesus that would please Him? The Bible tells us that what Jesus really wants is our hearts. Jesus is coming back for those that are looking for Him (Hebrews 9:28), but maybe we could apply giving our hearts to Jesus with some actions.

The wise men came and brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh as gifts to Jesus (Matthew 2:11). These were very precious gifts. Even though we can't give gold, frankincense, and myrrh directly to Jesus, we can find analogies in the Bible which we could liken to the three gifts. The Bible tells us that the trial of our faith is as gold tried in fire (I Peter 1:7). We can recommit to Jesus to walk in faith because the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17). Our walk of faith, committed to Jesus because we love and honor Him, is just like giving gold to Jesus.

Frankincense was used in many different applications in the Bible. One interesting application is that it was placed on top of the loaves of showbread in the tabernacle. Frankincense has a bitter taste. These loaves represented the Word of God. The Word of God can be both nourishing and tasteful, but sometimes it leaves a bitter taste in our mouths, just like some food that is good for you doesn't always taste good. We can make a recommitment to Jesus to read the Word in the coming year, and this would be like offering frankincense to Jesus.

Myrrh was an ointment used as a perfume. The Greek word is "smurna." The name of the city of Smyrna comes from the same Greek word. The church at Smyrna was the church under persecution. Jesus didn't find anything to rebuke them about. The church at Smyrna had a sweet smell of the sacrifice of their lives under persecution. Myrrh had a sweet smell to it. It was used for perfume and embalming. When we suffer for our faith and are steadfast for Jesus, it is a sweet smell in the nostrils of God. When we present our lives as a sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1), it becomes a sweet smelling sacrifice to God like myrrh.

Let us give to Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh this Christmas season.