Christmas Offerings

December 7, 2020

Matthew 2:11 NIV

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.

Today’s Reading: Matthew 2:7-12 NIV

In October of 2013, my wife and I found ourselves in Northwest Arkansas buying our first house and living away from parents and siblings for the first time. I was working my first “real” job and we were pregnant with our first child. Life was crazy and we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. During that whirlwind of a fall we had baby showers over a span of multiple weekends in different locations with friends and families. I went to these showers reluctantly because it seemed to me like I would be the only guy at most of them and not counting the “family-only” baby shower, I was. I don’t remember much about these baby showers, but I do remember being overwhelmed by the number of gifts we received and love that many people had for us and our unborn son. These friends and family members had sacrificed their time and money to show their care and affection for us as a family and I will never forget that. Now, let’s go back in time a few thousand years and see a story about a few men bringing gifts to the Savior of the world!

Jesus had been born in Bethlehem and the Magi from the east had asked all Jerusalem where they could find the King of the Jews. King Herod and all Jerusalem were greatly disturbed by this and asked the chief priests and teachers of the law where Jesus would be born. The answer was Bethlehem and so Herod devised a plan to use the Magi to find Jesus so that Jesus could be eliminated and the Jewish threat to his power removed. This is where we find ourselves in Matthew 2:7-12. The Magi are sent on their way to find Jesus and then report His location back to Herod. They followed the star all the way to a house and went in to find Mary and the infant Jesus. When they saw Jesus, they bowed down and worshiped Him. These men with a pagan religious background found themselves worshiping the King of the Jews and honoring Him with gifts fit for a king—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then the Magi were warned in a dream not to go back to Herod and to return home by another route. What a story!

This was so much more than a divine baby shower. The Magi brought gifts to honor a king whom they would bow down and worship. Looking back we have the benefit of knowing what Jesus would do in His life and ministry. That very baby in Bethlehem would live a perfect life, teach of the Kingdom of Heaven, be crucified, and rise again so that we might have hope for salvation! May we give our lives as offerings to Jesus, the one true King of kings, and Lord of lords.