Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh
Matthew 2:10-11 (KJB) When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
These gifts offered by the Magi for the baby Jesus were not just ordinary gifts one would commonly give for acknowledging the birth of an earthly child. These gifts had special significance in the life of the baby Jesus. They were significant presents offered to honor kings and deity in ancient biblical times as was prophesied in Isaiah chapter 60:6.
We already understand that Jesus Christ was not an ordinary infant. He was and is King and highly deserving of these three honorable gifts; gold, frankincense, and Myrrh.
There are a few other important elements I want to highlight in these two verses prior to “digging into” a larger context about the meaning of these gifts.
One, it is important to notice that by the time that magi arrived from afar by following the star to greet and honor Jesus He was no longer found in a lowly stable, but was now located in a house. The Bible does not give us much information about this trek. Or even about the unknown number of men who commenced upon this significant journey to meet and honor the newborn King. Folklore, songs, and tales from mankind often surreptitiously fill in blanks about their journey with bits and pieces of extrabiblical information not necessary inspired and recorded by God.
One thing we know for sure is that these magi (wise in the eyes of a man who operated at magicians and soothsayers) and perhaps not spiritually wise in God’s holy estimation, followed a bright shining star in the sky to reach this place where Jesus was located. This was being led by a divine global positioning component or a precise “spiritual roadmap” aiding in finding the young Jesus.
Perhaps this bright star was the glory of God which also served to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land.
Now onto discovering more about what has been said in history about the gifts these men offered unto Jesus as were mentioned in these verses; gold, frankincense, and Myrrh. Many believe that these gifts were to symbolize the holy elements of Jesus Christ’s character. The gold is thought to highlight Him as King. The frankincense was said to be given to highlight God’s role of priest, and last the Myrrh which had an alluring rich fragrance was significant in indicating His future death and embalming. Others claim that these gifts were rendered because they contained different medicinal purposes or were often elements used for religious ceremonies and in animal sacrifices.
Did you know these elements were all naturally found in this world? They certainly had special significance for they appeared with the wise men soon after the birth of Jesus Christ, again they were offered unto Jesus as he hung upon the cross, and lastly these elements were mentioned as Joseph of Arimathea Nicodemus were preparing to wrap the body of Jesus upon His physical death.
Though they can still be found in the world today, these elements are not as commonplace as they once were in ancient biblical times. They were used by God to honor earthly kings, the birth of Jesus Christ, and ultimately to foreshadow what was to take place on this earth. Perhaps you also took note that just as God is a triune God (Father, Son, and Spirit), and these earthly elements were also offered in a triple spiritual fashion. Are all these “threes” tied together in spiritual harmony? Or just a coincidence? I guess we might know the answer to that poignant question more clearly from a heavenly viewpoint rather than in a limited viewpoint from upon this earth.