The Message of the Magi’s Gifts

“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.”

Matthew 2:10-11

Gold, frankincense, and myrrh–they are perhaps the most famous gifts ever given, yet not many of us know too much about them. In the following Q & A, John MacArthur explains the symbolism behind the trio of gifts presented to Jesus by the Magi…

In his sermon “The Christ of Christmas,” James Montgomery Boice offered the following points of application in light of the symbolism of the wise men’s gifts: 

There is a sense in which by faith we too may present our gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh.

Begin with your myrrh. Myrrh is not only a symbol of Christ’s death but also of the spiritual death that should come to you for your sin. Lay it at Christ’s feet, saying, “Lord Jesus Christ, I know that I am less perfect than you are and am a sinner. I know that I should receive the consequence of my sin, which is to be barred from your presence forever. But you took my sin, dying in my place. I believe that. Now I ask you to accept me as your child forever.”

After you have done that, come with your incense, acknowledging that your life is as impure as the life of the Lord Jesus Christ is sinless. The Bible teaches that there is no good in man that is not mixed with evil. But it also teaches that Christ comes to live in the believer so that the good deeds produced in his or her life may become in their turn “a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.”

Finally, come with your gold. Gold symbolizes royalty. So when you come with your gold you acknowledge the right of Christ to rule your life. You say, “I am your servant; you are my Master. Direct my life and lead me in it so that I might grow up spiritually to honor and to serve you accordingly.”

If you have come believing in all that the myrrh, incense, and gold signify, you have embarked on a path of great spiritual joy and blessing. For those are the gifts of faith. They are the only things we can offer to the one who by grace has given all things to us.

~Excerpt taken from Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus by Nancy Guthrie