"Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh." ~Matthew 2:11~
Have you ever wondered why the Bible tells us what three gifts were brought by the Wise Men to give to Jesus? I believe that every word of the Word of God is there for a reason...a very specific reason. And I believe that the three gifts the wise men brought were symbolic of Jesus’ nature as well as symbolic of the nature we as followers of Christ are to embody.
GOLD: Gold is considered the most precious of all metals. The name means “shining dawn”. It is the least reactive all of all metals in the world and is unaffected by its environment. Once placed through the ho!est of fires, it comes out the purest of all substances. Think about how those apply to the nature of Jesus: His birth was the shining of a new day, a new dawn, for God’s people. He was proac-tive instead of reactive and careful of His response when questioned, ridiculed, and abused. He stayed true to Himself, remaining una ected by His environment. And though placed in the toughest of fires, He remained pure, perfect, and Divine.
1 Peter 1:6-7 says, “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a li!le while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.” Refining of your faith takes time and testing as life heats up around you. As you wait in the refining process, surrender to it with complete trust that God is making your heart more pure than gold.
FRANKINCENSE: Frankincense was a very expensive substance because it was collected in remote parts of the world. Gathering frankincense resin was a time-consuming process. The harvester scraped a 5-inch long cut on the trunk of this evergreen tree (why we use them as our Christmas Trees), which grew near limestone rocks in the desert. Over a period of two or three months, the sap would leak from the tree and harden into white "tears." The harvester would return and scrape the crystals, and also collect the less pure resin that had dripped down the trunk onto a palm leaf placed on the ground. The hardened gum might be distilled to extract its aromatic oil for perfume, or crushed and burned as incense.
Frankincense was a key part of sacrifices to God in the Old Testament, as priests would keep incense burning in the Temple. So, for the young Jesus, this gift symbolized His Divinity or His status as the High Priest, who became the sacrifice for our sin and currently intercedes for us before the Father.
Psalm 141:2 says, “May my prayer be set before You like incense.” 1 Corinthians 2:15 says, “For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” As you wait for Him, ask the Father for your prayers to smell beautiful to Him and your life reach others for Him.
MYRRH: Myrrh was one of the gifts that the wise men brought to the baby Jesus, and myrrh was also applied to Jesus’ body after His death (John 19:39–40). Myrrh is a small shrub that grows in rocks and sand, the hardest places, in Palestine. It produces a fragrance when it is injured or broken. As a matter of fact, the more it is broken, the more fragrant it becomes.
Oh, friend, do you see? When Jesus Christ was broken for you and me, He emitted a sweet fragrance for the world to breathe. Likewise, when we find ourselves broken, it is then that we should totally depend upon Him. Through your broken dependence, you become a beautiful fragrance of Jesus Christ. Psalm 51:17 says the sacrifices God desires are a broken spirit; the more broken, the more fragrant. As you wait, ask the Father to break o any part of you that does not look like Him; a sacrifice to Him.
May we be wise women who bring our gold, frankincense and myrrh to the King this Christmas.