I love how the 2nd chapter of Matthew shares some extra details about the Christmas story the gospel of Luke never touches: Magi
Some great insights into the Magi that make me smile . . .
1. We really don’t know how many wise men were in the entourage, only that there were 3 gifts. But allow me to share a precious friend’s insight…there were really 4 gifts.
Go ahead, I’ll let you run to your Bible and check out Chapter 2, verse 11.
Yep, the first gift was WORSHIP. THEN, they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of frankincense and of myrrh.
Do I offer the gift of worship first? Is worship a priority?
2. Mary and Joseph were Jewish. Shepherds? Jewish. Magi? Not Jewish.
This event was choreographed by a great God who invited those outside the Jewish faith to participate. This is where WE, the Gentiles, come in.
Am I living up to my starring role? Or am I satisfied with being an “understudy” in the story He has for me?
3. The Magi did not arrive at the stable as all of the Nativity scenes suggest.
Verse 11 continues, “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary.”
This realization was a huge turning point for me many years ago. While visiting what would become our home church during our time in New England, the preacher taught that the Wise Men didn’t come to the stable. I just knew he had it wrong and went home on a mission to prove it. Upon every reading of all 3 bibles we had in the house at the time, I discovered that I’d been relying on someone else or a plastic scene to tell me the truth of the scriptures. I confessed it as sin and said, “No More!” My journey through the scriptures and the life it gives began that very day. Jesus was no longer on the flannelboard for this Jesus Girl.
4. Verse 12 shares that upon being in the presence of the Savior, “they returned to their country by another route.”
After I am in the presence of the Lord, do I go home a different way? I sure hope so.
Several friends have shared how this affects their Advent Celebrations. One exclaims, “Three gifts were good enough for Jesus, then three gifts are good enough for each one of my kids. ” That just makes me laugh…and think.
And then a young mother shared how her family models what the Magi brought Jesus in 3 gifts:
Frankincense (used by priests in their offerings to God, pointing toward Jesus’ role as our high priest) – the gift should be good for your mind…books, museum tickets, lessons, learning opportunity, learning kits, etc.
Myrrh (a spice for a person who is going to die) – the gift should be something to aid healing or a practical gift…clothes, shoes, conference, a box of medicines for that college student who has let himself get run down due to final exams, a Bible or something that encourages the recipient’s spiritual journey.
Gold (a gift for a King – or maybe a princess or son of The King) – something extra, fun, shiny, sparkly…toy, game, jewelry.
Your thoughts and ideas?