The Gifts of the Wise Men and Our Gifts to Jesus
taken from a message given by Adrian Rogers
It’s hard to believe, but it’s that time of year again...time for gift-buying, gift-wrapping, and gift-exchanging. Where does Jesus fit into that picture? And what are the gifts we could bring Him this Christmas? I think one way we can discover that is to look at the account in Matthew 2:1-12 as to the gifts the wise men brought Him on that tender, blessed night when God became flesh and dwelt among us.
Gold—His Sovereign Dominion
Gold was a gift presented to a king. It was the most precious metal of that day and it symbolized royalty. The wise men recognized that this baby who was born in a manger was no ordinary baby—this was King Jesus! He is King of kings and Lord of lords. The wise men did not cuddle Him. They did not play games with Him. Instead they bowed the knee in reverence to Him. They recognized that indeed He is King.
On a memorable trip to Washington, I had an opportunity to speak with the President of the United States. I mentioned that I heard he was visiting my city the next day. He said, “That’s right. Why don’t you ride back to Memphis with me on Air Force One.” I said, “Why, Mr. President, that would be an honor, but I have a plane going back today.” He replied, “Well, if you can arrange it, I’d love to have you.”
Do you know what I did? I quickly made a hotel reservation and bought a toothbrush. Do you know why? You don’t get those kinds of invitations every day—at least I didn’t! Later I thought, “Adrian, you rearranged your schedule, made a reservation, bought toiletries to spend another night, just so you could spend a few moments with that man.” Although I would have done it again, I thought, “Adrian, how much difficulty did you go through and how would you compare that to what you do for the King of kings?” My heart smote me—that sometimes I am more impressed with the men of this world than I am with heaven’s King. My friend, He is King of kings.
Frankincense—His Sinless Deity
If gold was a gift of wealth for a king, then frankincense was used to worship the King. These wise men recognized the sinless deity of Jesus that was deserving of their worship. Matthew 2:11 says, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”
There are so many who do not give to the Lord Jesus the worship due His name. The Bible so clearly tells His children that we are to “worship the Lord thy God and serve Him only” (Deuteronomy 6:13). If Jesus is not the Lord God, then this is the ultimate blaspheme. Only God Himself should be the object of our worship.
The wise men knew this baby was God, and they fell down in worship of Him. Isaiah 9:6 states clearly, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”
You see, Jesus was not only born a king, He was God in human flesh. Now, whether the wise men fully understood all of this or not, I don’t know. But I do know that the Holy Spirit impelled them to make these gifts and the Holy Spirit recorded these gifts.
There will be many who read this and say, “Well, I don’t believe that Jesus Christ is God, but I do believe that He was a good man.” What did Jesus say? “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). If Jesus Christ is not God, then He is not good by His own words.
And if Jesus Christ is a man and only a man, He is a fake, a fraud, and an imposter for He Himself claimed to be God: “Before Abraham was, I Am” (John 8:58). “I AM” is the most sacred name for God and Jesus claimed it for Himself.
Myrrh—His Sacrificial Death
The third gift the wise men brought was a valuable gum-like substance called myrrh that was used to embalm the dead. Stop and think of the significance—bringing a child something that would be used to embalm the dead? They did this because they recognized that this little one was born to die.
Myrrh was also used as a narcotic to dull pain. Mark 15:22-23 tells us, “And they bring Him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave Him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but He received it not.” There upon that cross, instead of tasting myrrh to numb His pain, Jesus tasted death for every man. And finally, to prepare Him for burial, Nicodemus brought myrrh (see John 19:38-40).
As I said, I don’t know whether the wise men understood all of this, but I know the Holy Spirit did. And this is not by accident. Of everything that could be listed as gifts to the King, we read they brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to recognize His sovereign dominion, sacred deity, and sacrificial death.
What will you give Jesus this Christmas? Because of His sovereign dominion, will you give Him your wealth? All that we have belongs to Him. Because of His sinless deity, will you give Him your worship? Fall on your face before Him. Because of His sacrificial death, will you give Him your witness? I want the whole world to know that He died for me. Do you? My wealth, my worship, and my witness belong to my Lord. And according to His Word, so does yours.
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