Taken from the intimation sheet: Sunday 21 December 2014
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
10When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 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 and of incense and of myrrh.
They were not the type of people you’d expect to go looking for the King of the Jews. They were from the East, not from Israel. And Magi; star-gazers, not the sort of people you’d envisage to be searching for the Messiah. Yet God must have revealed to them something of who Jesus was, and why he came, to these men.
They travelled far, at great risk and at great cost to themselves. And when they found where he was, they were “overjoyed”.
These men, from the East, who must have had power and money – bowed before a baby. And worshipped him.
They knew this was no ordinary child. The gifts they gave – gold, frankincense and myrrh – each spoke of who Jesus was, why he came, and what it would cost him:
Gold: the Gift fit for a King!
Who he was
Jesus is King, and they extolled him.
The magi had found the King. The king of the Jews, the King of the ages, King of love, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
He is King, and true joy and life come from knowing him as King of your life. When we become Christians, we decide that we are no-longer going to rule over our lives, but we are going to acknowledge Jesus as King, as Lord.
Do you know Jesus as your king?
Frankincense: The Gift for a priest
Why He came
Frankincense was used by the priests in the Temple. The priest’s job was to stand between people and God. Frankincense was a key ingredient in the incense that rose from the Temple symbolising prayer rising to God.
Now we need no temple, and no other priests to mediate between us and God- Jesus is the great High Priest who bridges the gap between his people and God.
Do you know Jesus as your great High Priest?
Myrrh: The gift for the dead
What it cost
Myrrh was used to embalm the dead. Even here in Bethlehem, there is a sign that Jesus is the one born to die. Jesus bridges the gap between sinful people and a Holy God, by dying to take the punishment for their sins.
Everyone who gives their life to Jesus and trusts in him will be fully forgiven, and forever welcomed by God. What a price for Jesus to pay, what love, that he should lay down his life for us!
Do you know Jesus not only was born for you, but died for you?
In these gifts we see who Jesus was, why he came, and what it cost him. Wise men and women still seek him, and he is still worthy of our worship.
Yours in His service