It’s interesting that the tradition of giving gifts at Christmas originated with the story of the Magi. Though they weren’t Jewish by birth and may not have been extensively schooled in Scripture, these men knew that the child they were seeking was worthy of any and every good thing they could offer. For the next few days, I want to look at the specific gifts they brought and discuss how they find significance in our lives today.
The first present given to young Jesus was gold, which signifies kingly authority and honor on the earth. Despite being just a baby at the time, these “wise men” knew that He would ultimately inherit authority in the world, although they probably didn’t understand that His power would not be denoted by a throne, crown, or coronation. Instead, Jesus would travel the land as a commoner and make His home in humble places. Historically, this Great Redeemer would also be the ultimate sacrifice of atonement, and His priesthood would replace that of men, who made propitiation for sins by entering the Holy of Holies, a room covered with gold. Therefore, in a twofold sense, gold represented Jesus’ kingship and His priesthood and signified the new Kingdom that He would establish on earth.
My friend, just as gold was costly in the ancient world, your forgiveness was costly to Jesus. He came to earth to reign, but His authority was gained through suffering and sacrifice. Remember the price He paid whenever you are tempted to feel entitled, and allow your heart to bow before Him in gratitude once more. When you surrender your treasure knowing that your debt has been paid in full, He will refine, purify, and make your faith more precious and valuable than anything this world has to offer.