Christmas Gifts for a King
Hubub of Christmas shopping, but what kind of gift can you give Jesus, after all, it is His birthday.
I. Messianic background and foreshadowing from Isaiah 60:
A. v3, the star is just a shadow of the great light that will one day dawn when Jesus returns, and then Kings will come to worship. They will come to the light of Israel, which is in fact, the Messiah himself.
B. in verse 6 they will come bearing gold and incense, and proclaiming the praise of the Lord.
C. They came to worship, and they did not come empty handed.
Worship that costs us nothing is worth nothing. "It's the thought that counts. God knows our thoughts. He knows whether we rejoice in His presence and value Him above all else, even life itself; or whether we give him token worship to not please him, but ease our consciences.
Remember, worship it to acknowledge the worth of something. What worth would an objective observer place on our God if they saw the gifts we gave him? Would they look and say: "Wow, those people must have some kind of a God to offer Him such sacrifices and gifts and devotion." Or would they look and say: "Boy, their God must not be worth much, they treat him with as much respect as they would a fortune-teller, slipping in a side door once a week and tossing a few bucks into an outstretched hand for a few bogus words of encouragement." I bet some of you are thinking, oh they can't observe me...But oh yes they can, why do you think God has such a bad reputation in some circles...It's because his worshipers have been advertising the fact that he's cheap by their cheap worship of him.
David, the man after God's own heart said he would not worship and give God something that cost him nothing. What is it that we can bring to worship God during this Christmas season? What kinds of gifts are fit for a King? How can we give them to him?
II. It might be helpful if we looked at the gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus
when he first came into this world as an infant. Since they were wise, their gifts would probably reflect their wisdom. Their gifts might guide us in selecting the appropriate gifts to give our King this Christmas as we commemorate His birthday.
Hymn 110, We three kings of Orient are...maybe not three, no evidence, possibly a royal priestly tribe from Persia.
Many say that the three gifts were appropriate to give Jesus because they pointed to various aspects of His future life and ministry. The gold stood for his Royal Kingly crown, the Frankincense for his Priestly ministry, for the priests would burn incense daily before the Lord on the altar of incense. The Myrrh, which was used in burial customs, stood for the Future Passion and burial of the Lord. There might be some merit to those thoughts, but it is difficult to prove.
Frankincense and myrrh were both components of the oil of anointing and incense used in Exodus 30 for the service of worship in the Tabernacle, and latter in the Temple. In the Holy place and Holy of Holies, all the important things were covered with beaten gold, symbolizing purity. So some say these gifts relate to the worship of God in the temple.