One reason the wise men were wise is because they came to Jesus for the right reason. They were seekers of the truth. And they would go to any length to find Jesus, but they came to worship Jesus.
There are people today who don’t love Jesus; they just use Jesus. Politicians use Jesus to get votes. Business leaders use Jesus to get a blessing on their business. Marketers use Jesus to sell a product. People use Jesus for their own selfish reasons.
We often ask, “What can Jesus do for me,’ as if he’s a vending machine. We act as if God is a giant genie — just rub the lamp and whatever your wish is his command. But God is not your genie. He is your God. He’s in charge. He has the right to tell you what to do, not vice versa.
So the wise men came for the right reason. They didn’t come to get something from Jesus; they came to show gratitude, to show love, to show honor, to show respect.
They gave Jesus the best they had. They didn’t give him their leftovers. They didn’t give him lip service. They didn’t give him a gift card. They thought through what to give him. The three presents that the wise men brought had very important significance —
Gold is the gift you give to Kings. In days of old, tribute was paid by bringing gold to the king. It was the most precious metal of the time and so the wise men are presenting it as a gift to the king.
Frankincense was a kind of incense, used to worship God in the temple. So the wise men are saying this baby, Jesus, is not only king, he is also God. He is worthy of being worshipped.
Myrrh was a spice used to embalm the dead. Now that’s an unusual gift for a baby: the spice put on a dead body before wrapping it in linens. So the wise men, by their gifts, acknowledged that Jesus is God Incarnate, he is king, and he is going to die. Jesus is the savior of the world and he has come to die for our sins.
Even before Jesus said his first word, it was known that, “This is the Savior who will die for the sins of the world.’
—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional
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