The Gifts of the Wise Men

The Gifts of the Wise Men

Matthew 2:1-11

This is a familiar passage especially around the time of Christmas. The wise men from the east that came to visit Jesus brought him gifts. The gifts that they brought were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In this lesson we will look at the significance of these gifts and also make and application to ourselves for the gifts that we bring unto God.

Three Things given to Jesus:

1)  Gold (verse 11)

  •  Gold is one of the most valuable things that they could have given to Jesus. This speaks of the value that they were placing on Jesus. Note that the verse says when they had opened their treasures. Not only was gold valuable, but it was what was valuable to them.
  • The God speaks also of the deity of God. Everything inside the Tabernacle of the Congregation was to be overlaid with gold. This represents to us that Jesus Christ was God manifest in the flesh.
  • Gold would also connect with Jesus being a King. A king that was successful and had a prosperous Kingdom such as Solomon’s Kingdom was always connected with gold and usually adorned with gold. Jesus would one day be King (Revelation 19:16), and the wise men knew this and gave him gifts of gold.

2)  Frankincense (verse 11)

  • The first time we see frankincense used in the Bible it is in Leviticus 2:1,2,15,16. In this passage it is being applied to a meat offering that is offered unto the Lord.
  • Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh and is an offering unto God for a sweet-smelling savor (Ephesians 5:2). But note that frankincense was not to be applied to the sin offering (Leviticus 5:11). So, Jesus is given frankincense before he was made sin for us.
  • One of the other things in the Tabernacle that was to have frankincense put on it was the shewbread (Leviticus 24:7). This pictured both Jesus Christ and the Word of God but this makes sense because Jesus Christ is the Word.
  • In the frankincense we see the office of the priesthood which is what Jesus Christ is doing for us right now (Hebrews 4;14-16).

3)  Myrrh (verse 11)

  • The first time we see myrrh in the Bible is in Genesis 37:25. The Midianites that Joseph’s brethren sold him to were going to Egypt to sell different things and myrrh was one of them.
  • When Joseph’s brothers go down into Egypt to buy corn they take myrrh to give as a gift. They had told their father that Joseph was dead. It is interesting that they now bring him myrrh. Joseph is one of the greatest types of Jesus in the Bible. Jesus came to the world to die in mans place to save him from their sin. Joseph went down into Egypt to save his family alive in the end.
  • Myrrh was also used to anoint the dead body of Jesus Christ (John 19:39). Myrrh is therefore connected with Jesus’ death it is the office of prophet that he was fulfilling at his death.

How can we apply this to us today?

The wise men brought the best that they had to offer to Jesus. We should do the same. Let us look at the things that brought and make an application for us.

1)  Gold

  • When we think of Gold our mind probably goes to the thought of money. While we should up our money to the Lord the principle, we really need to see is offering up our very best unto the Lord whether it is money, time, talents, material goods, part of the day, worship, praise etc.
  • We should give God the very best we have in all that we do.

2)  Frankincense

  • We should not just offer money and material things, but we should worship and offer praise to God.
  • Frankincense was connected with the priesthood and offerings. As a spiritual priesthood we are to offer the sacrifice of praise and give thanks in all things (Hebrews 13:15-16).

3)  Myrrh

  • The myrrh was connected with the death of Jesus. We should present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God as well (Romans 12:1-2).

The Gifts of the Wise Men : Handout

Matthew 2:1-11

1)  What were the three gifts offered by the wise men to Jesus?

2)  What is the significance of these gifts in connection with Jesus Christ?

3)  What application can we make for ourselves from these gifts offered by the wise men?