The Gifts of the Magi

MERRY CHRISTMAS! I trust you will have, or have had a Merry Christmas. The weather certainly is fitting for Christmas in our part of the world. We’ll be celebrating at home this year, and will probably send some time just enjoying the view from out house at the lake.

There is a lesson for us in the part of the Christmas story where the Magi from the East bring gifts to the baby Jesus. It is a lesson that had not occurred to me before now. I had always just used this as an example to give gifts to others at Christmas. When younger, my focus may have been more on the receiving part; but in Jesus’ name, of course.

Scripture records the Magi, or wise men, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In Matthew 2:11 we read, “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and myrrh.”

They had come seeking a king. Their gifts are not given with the idea of giving assistance or of meeting a need. It would dishonor a king if foreign visitors came with royal care-packages. Deuteronomy 10:17 says God takes no bribe, so what do the gifts mean? How do they signify worship?

These gifts are strong indicators of strong desire for Christ himself. It was a way of saying, “The joy we experience is not the hope of getting rich with things from you. We have not come to you for your things, but for yourself. This desire we show by giving up things, in the hope of enjoying you more, not these things.

For us today, the lesson is to say to Jesus, you are my treasure, not these things I bring to you. May God take the truth of this passage of scripture and awaken in us a desire for Christ himself. May we say from our hearts, “Lord Jesus, you are the Messiah, the King of Israel, Lord of my life. You alone can satisfy my heart, not my earthly possessions.”

God wants us to offer ourselves to his service. This is what pleases Him. “Offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1).

Praising Jesus,
Pastor Jerry

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