Bible Commentary: “Three Gifts” The Days Of Christmas

December 20, 2015 at 5:26 pm | Posted in Bible Commentary | Leave a comment
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“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11 NKJV)

We are counting the days until Christmas and we here at Word of Encouragement would like to spend this time together reviewing the prophecies and scriptures concerning the birthday of our King and seeing how they might apply to us today and receiving encouragement from them.

Only Matthew tells us that there came wise men from the East to worship Jesus and they followed His star to where He was. Only Matthew is presenting Jesus as a King and only a King would receive such a visit and such gifts. When these men arrived they fell down at the feet of a baby and gave Him three gifts: Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

Gold! Gold represents wealth and it represents purity. Many tons of gold were used in connection with the temple and with the tabernacle in the wilderness. Specifically the rings on the Ark of the Covenant and on the Golden Lamp stands.

Frankincense! Frankincense is a resin imported from Arabia because of its fragrance. It was one of the ingredients in the perfume of the sanctuary: (Then the LORD said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices–gum resin, onycha and galbanum–and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts” (Exodus 30:34). It was used as an accompaniment of the grain offering: “The priest is to take a handful of fine flour and oil, together with all the incense on the grain offering, and burn the memorial portion on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the LORD” (Leviticus 6:15). Due to the fact that when burnt it emitted a fragrant odor it became a symbol of the Divine name, “My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD Almighty” (Malachi 1:11), and an emblem of prayer, “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice” (Psalm 141:2).

Myrrh! Myrrh is first mentioned as a principal ingredient in the holy anointing oil, “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane (Exodus 30:23). It was used in embalming, “Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds (John 19:39) and also as a perfume, “Before a girl’s turn came to go in to King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments prescribed for the women, six months with oil of myrrh and six with perfumes and cosmetics (Esther 2:12). It was a custom of the Jews to give those who were condemned to death by crucifixion “Wine mingled with Myrrh” to produce insensibility. This drugged wine was probably taken by the two thieves that Jesus was crucified between, but when the Roman soldiers pressed it upon Jesus, “Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it (Mark 15:23).

Child of God – The Wise Men came and offered Jesus three gifts then worshipped Him. Can we do any less than “Wise” men? What three gifts can we offer our King this Christmas? We can offer Jesus our praise, “Great is the LORD, and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, his holy mountain” (Psalm 48:1). We can offer Jesus ourselves, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1). We can offer Jesus our talents and abilities as it was Jesus who gave them to us when we were formed in the womb, “This is what the LORD says– your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself” (Isaiah 44:24).

Our prayer:
Lord, I give you these three gifts. All of them are meant to give you glory. The praise of my mouth for what you have done. My body as the earthly vessel that contains your Spirit and is used to take it around the world. My talents that are an outward sign of your presence in me.
Amen.

If you want to have a personal relationship with Jesus as your Lord and Savior pray: “Dear Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and that out of love for me you willingly sacrificed your life so that I may live. I repent of all my sins and open my heart to you as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer for the first time or if you have any questions please contact us. We would love to hear from you

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