They entered the house and saw the child with His mother, Mary,
and they bowed down and worshipped Him.
Then they opened their treasure chests
and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
In manger scenes, either on coffeetables or mantles, there is Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus, a few animals, the shepherds, and the wise men. As we know, though, Jesus was around one or two when the wise men found Him. Herod was king then and he had called a meeting with his religious leaders. He wanted to know where Jesus was to be born. “In Bethlehem of Judea” they told him. “For it is written by the prophet: for from you shall come a Ruler…Who will shepherd My people.” Herod was threatened. He told them to go and search for the child, and come back and tell him so he could worship Him.
And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah,
are not least among the ruling cities of Judah,
for a ruler will come from you
who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.
The wise men went on their way, guided by a star in the east, and they were filled with joy. The wise men brought gifts and worshipped Jesus for Who He was. These gifts were extremely valuable and each one stood for something:
- Gold – a gift of royalty
- Frankincense – a gift for deity
- Myrrh – a spice used to anoint a body for burial
The wise men were so excited to meet the Christ-child that they were willing to part with these gifts, out of love and respect and just joy. They were honoring Jesus for Who He is and they worshipped Him because He was and is perfect.
There is much more to this story and I encourage you to finish reading the whole story of Herod and the wise men. (Read the whole account here.) But for now, let’s search our own hearts.
What would you have been willing to give Him?
What is most precious to you and would you have been willing to lay it at the foot of the manger on that cold night in Bethlehem? I would like to think that I would. And what about today?
Sometimes the things that we hold onto aren’t really so precious yet we have a hard time giving them to Jesus. Sometimes our own ideas of how our life should go are hard to give over to God, and to wholly trust Him with it. Even though we know in our heart of hearts it is the best thing for us and that God is our Sustainer and He does know what is best for us. Yet we hold onto it. Some days we lay them at His feet, only to pick them up not too long after. We may not have a star to follow like they did, but we have the Spirit of God guiding us and directing us. We owe Him so much…we can never ever repay the debt. But on that night, so long ago, the wise men didn’t have a debt to pay. They just wanted to give all they had to the Baby Jesus.
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Oh, friends, we too have so much to give Him! It may not be gold, frankincense, and myrrh but we have our praise and we can honor Him with our lives every day. Do you know this Jesus? I really want you to. He is so in love with you already, even if you aren’t yet. But you will be once you get to know Him. Why not start today?
Pray this simple prayer with me:
Dear Lord, I know I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I need forgiveness for my sins. I believe that Jesus is Your Son, Who was born and lived here on earth and died to save me from my sin. He rose again and is preparing a place for me. I ask You to come into my heart and be Lord of my life. Guide and direct me. In Jesus’ Name, amen.