The Three Gifts
by Rev. Tom Gray
When the three Magi came to see the infant Jesus they were seeking a King. What they may not have known was that their presence and were vital symbolically of who Jesus was and would also ensure he would survive.
The gifts—gold, frankincense, and myrrh—were deeply symbolic. The gold represented the value and perfection of Jesus. Gold has always been valued for its beauty and the fact it doesn’t rust (corrupt).
Frankincense was a precious resin from the East, where the Magi lived. In Israel, it was constantly used in the Temple, and one of Jesus’ relatives, the priest Zachariah, would have daily burned that very incense as a part temple prayers.
Myrrh was a precious ointment that, in one of its uses, was applied to bodies prior to burial.
Obviously, there was powerful symbolic and prophetic truth in this gift, too. Years in the future, myrrh would have been what the women brought to put on his body.
But there was one more thing. The family was warned after the Magis’ visit to escape to Egypt immediately, since Herod was plotting to kill Jesus. There was a very large community of Jewish scholars in Alexandria, Egypt, at that time. Not only would Jesus be far from Herod, but his whole family would be surrounded by the best community of worship outside the Temple in Jerusalem.
A trip to Egypt would have been terribly expensive, not counting the cost of however long they’d have to live there. How would they afford it? The gifts. All of them were highly valued and usable as money.
God truly provides so that His perfect will is accomplished.