The King, the Priest, and the Prophet

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11-2).
When the wise men, also known as the Mages, reached the town of Bethlehem to see Jesus, they offered three gifts to Him. We are beginning to see that there’s great significance in every piece of the Christmas story, and these gifts are no exception.
           
The Mages give Jesus gold, frankincense, and myrrh. What makes these gifts so special?
           
God loves the significance of numbers, and in Scripture, good things come in threes. The number 3 is seen throughout the Bible: the Holy Trinity, the resurrection of Jesus on the third day, God’s throne is in the third heaven, and many other references to the number 3. It represents harmony and wholeness.
           
If we break down the gifts of the wise men, we see that the first one is gold, which is the gift of kings. Jesus is the King of Kings, so they give Him this as a form of honor, respect, and acknowledgement. God also had the wise men give gold because Mary and Joseph would need provisions for their journey to Egypt. They were unaware at the time, but King Herod, who was a tyrant, would decree that every male child 2 years old or younger would be killed.
           
God told Joseph to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt so they could escape, but in this new land, they would have no provisions and would be looked down on since they were Jewish. But God often gives you what you need before you get to where you’re going. He gives them gold because they need money, and the currency of Egypt is gold.
           
The gift of frankincense is an act of purity. It’s a fragrant perfume that was used in the temples, and it was reserved for the temple with the belief that the Deity alone was worthy of it. Therefore, the wise men acknowledge Jesus as King with the gold and as a priest, or a deity, with the frankincense, demonstrating that they understand He is the Messiah and has been sent from God.
           
The last gift is the myrrh. This is possibly the most interesting because myrrh was used like embalming oil. It signifies death. The wise men know Jesus as the King, the Deity, and now as the Prophet. They recognize that He is mortal, being fully man and yet fully God, and because He is fully man, He will know earthly death. So, they give Him myrrh with the understanding that He will suffer and will one day die. He is King, Deity, and Prophet all in one.
           
How glorious is it that even at His birth, even before He uttered a word, creation was already glorifying Him? God made sure that He would receive gifts that represented Him to the fullest. Three gifts for a threefold God.    
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