Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Useless Gifts

"The Magi presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh." Matthew 2:11

There are those who think the wise men could have brought more practical gifts to the baby Jesus. They didn't bring soft blankets, diapers, or footsy pajamas. Instead the gifts the Magi brought for the baby Jesus were impractical and completely useless … for an infant, that is. Gold. Incense. Myrrh. Extravagant, yes! Exotic, expensive, over-the-top, to be sure; but altogether useless for a baby. I guess, Mary and Joseph could eventually cash them in for living expenses, but what would a baby do with these?

It turns out that, in that day, these were the gifts you would give to a king. Gold, incense and myrrh were gifts for royalty. And everything about this scene emphasizes Jesus' identity as King. Here we see these advisors to the kings, who trafficked in the realm of royalty, bowing down in reverential posture, and presenting Jesus with these outlandish, expensive, fit-for-a-king gifts.

What do we give to a God who has everything? Our worship, our service, our offerings? He certainly doesn’t need them. Is it possible that we need no other reason to worship Jesus or give Him our gifts than because of who He is? When we give to Jesus that which we value, we are declaring that He is our King. Hallelujah!

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