“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child and his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, and of incense and of myrrh.” Matthew 2:10-11
I’m not sure the wise men reached the manger in time for the birth of the Messiah, but they were determined to present their gifts to Christ and found baby Jesus in a house in Bethlehem.
The Book of Isaiah, when describing Jerusalem’s glorious restoration, tells of nations and kings who will come and “bring gold and frankincense and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord” (Isaiah 60:6). Gold, frankincense, and myrrh were standard gifts to honor a king or deity in that time.
The wise men brought valuable gifts to the Christ child, but today we get focused on buying gifts for each other.
Gold was a precious metal and used as money. The angel told Joseph to flee into Egypt with the baby Jesus. They needed to escaped Herod’s rage of killing all the babies two years old and under, so the gold was probably used for their trip.
Frankincense or incense was like a perfume. It was a very expensive fragrance which could be sold for money.
Myrrh was an anointing oil used to embalm. Nicodemus brought a hundred pounds of it to anoint the body of Christ. (John 19:38-39).
Gift giving was started by the wise men who gave treasures to the Christ child. What if God intended Christmas to be a time for giving gifts to Christ?
If so, what are you giving Jesus this year?