Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Comment: Firstly we see Herod’s smooth tongue in action. ‘When you have found the Messiah (save me the problem of finding Him – not said) I will come and ‘worship’ Him also’. The end of the short passage tells us that God knew Herod’s heart and didn’t allow the wise men to be embroiled in Herod’s duplicity.
Christmas is said to be a time for giving gifts. Obviously we need to think about what to give the Messiah in worship and service. But here the wise men give three gifts –
- gold – fitting for a king or someone very important on a significant occasion. It was maybe used in the flight to Egypt which followed for Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus.
- frankincense – a sweet smelling incense used in worship. They knew He was coming as God’s Messiah.
- myrrh – which seems a bit strange as it was a major part of the burial wrappings of the time. Maybe this was a hint at His future!
Prayer: Help me to give You the choicest gifts that I can, in thankfulness for Your greatest of all gifts, Your Son.