The Magi were wise men from the East. They were students of prophesy, religion and philosophy, astronomy and astrology. The Bible does not state how many Magi came to visit the child Jesus. Many people hold that there were three wise men, maybe because there were three gifts.
I find that the gifts that were offered were a fascinating demonstration that shows the extent of the understanding that the Magi had as to Jesus’ life and purpose. As many of you know, the gifts presented were gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Gold was given in ancient times as a tribute to the reign of a new king. The Magi had told Herod that they were in search of a king that was prophesied to be born in Bethlehem and that they were following a star that would lead them to that king. Gold was a wonderfully appropriate gift.
Frankincense is an aromatic incense that was used in sacred rituals. The Magi were acknowledging Jesus’ spiritual life and the sacredness of his being. Because they had studied ancient texts, the Magi knew that Jesus would have an immense spiritual impact on the world. Frankincense was a wonderful choice as a gift that recognized the incredible gift that God the Father gave to the world.
And finally, myrrh is a spice that was used to prepare bodies for burial and had other uses during funerals. This gift represents the suffering and sacrifice that Jesus would make for all of us, the completion of the purpose of Jesus’ life here on earth.
In these three gifts, the Magi had truly represented the essence of Jesus’ life. These gifts represented: the everlasting kingship and reign of Jesus; the sacredness and spiritual impact of His life; and finally the suffering and sacrifice that fulfill the promises made by God in earlier revelations.
Remember that God had given us the beautiful and wondrous gift of His Son. That His Son suffered and died for us. The gift of love and forgiveness is given to us each and every day. That gift of love is ours to have, offered freely and in unending abundance.
Peace be with you all.