Wise Men Bringing Gifts

One of the commonest scenes we see on Christmas cards and other pictures of Christmas is that of three men, either on camels or otherwise, bringing or presenting gifts to the Christ Child. And the Scriptures tell us those gifts weregold, frankincense and myrrh.

I have often wondered: “Who were these men? Why did they bring  gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the Christ Child? Were these gifts a silent testimony of the truth of the Babe they sought to worship? Did they have an understanding of who He was and forever will be? According to the nature of the gifts they brought, were they making a silent statement of what was to be the life of the Babe they worshipped?

As I reflect on this part of the Christmas story, I reason with myself that since these men were heavenly-led to follow a star which directed them to the Christ Child, then it would be safe to say that through the wisdom of God, they were given glimpses of truth from God the Father about the divinity of that Child, and what the future held for Him. I reason, too, that their very act of worship was a confession in itself that there was something divine about that Child and that He was worthy of their attention and their significant gifts.

Gold. We all know that gold is a precious metal of great value in the world, even among many uncivilized nations. It has always been and still is a gift fit for a king. When the wise men gave gold out of their treasure to the Christ child, were they recognizing Him as King of kings?

Frankincense. This is a substance that rises upward as a sweet aroma when burnt. In presenting the gift of frankincense to the Christ child, were these wise men recognizing the life of Christ as a sacrificial, sweet aroma rising up to the Father on behalf of mankind?

Myrrh. This is a substance that was used by the ancients in the embalming process to prevent decay. In presenting the gift of myrrh to the Christ child, were these wise men recognizing the indestructible body of Christ and the eternality of His life?

Wise men and women still seek Christ today by reaching out for “new life” in Him and still bring Him gifts in love and adoration. What gifts do wise men and women bring to Christ?

In place of gold, we could bring Him a heart filled with a strong faith in His divine Kingship. In the place of myrrh we could bring Him a heart filled with hope...a blessed hope to share in His eternality. In the place of frankincense we could bring Him a heart filled with charity for others who are needy, and have this gift rise up as a sweet fragrance to Him, for He said that even “ a cup of water given in His name is done unto Him” and will not be unrewarded.

Wise men and women still bring gifts to Christ—not only at Christmas time, but at all times—not of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but of faith, hope and charity.

This holiday season, let us all bring Christ back into Christmas, and in all our gift-giving, let us remember Him with the incomparable gifts of faith, hope and charity.

“...There came wise men from the east...they presented unto him gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:1, 11).