UPWARD GLANCE: The Gifts of the Magi: Gold

by Kyle
published December 18, 2012


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Read More Upward Glances

Most people have heard of the three wise men that brought gifts to the baby Jesus. The only place in Scripture where we find them is in Matthew 2:1-12.

First, let me correct some common misconceptions.

The magi did not come to the original nativity scene. According to Matthew 2:11, Mary, Joseph and Jesus were living in a house when they visited. Also, Jesus was probably a toddler at the time, not a baby. He was at possibly as old as two years old because Herod, in Matthew 2:16, orders the death of all boys younger than two years old to be killed. Finally, we don’t know how many wise men there were. There were at least two, but could have been as many as twenty. Matthew doesn’t tell us. We only know that there were more than one and that they brought three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. I’ve been thinking about these gifts lately and what they mean. Let me start with Gold.

The magi knew who they were visiting because they had read Scripture. They read Numbers 24:17 as a messianic prophecy, followed the new start they saw and expected to come and find Israel’s “anointed one.” Messiah, a Hebrew word, and Christ, a Greek word, both mean “anointed one.”

If, in those days and in that part of the world, you wished to show your subjection to a king, you would pay him a tribute of gold. For instance, in 2 Kings 17:3, Hoshea, king of Israel, was forced to pay a tribute to Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria, to show his subjection as a conquered king over a conquered nation.

So what were the magi communicating with a gift of gold? This was not for Jesus’ college fund, and it wasn’t a cash gift because they didn’t know where Mary and Joseph registered. This was a tribute to the King of Kings. The magi knew their Old Testament, and they knew who this baby was despite the modest house they found him in.

Do you know who that child is? Do you know that He died for you so He could redeem you? Do you know that He rose again so that He could be the rightful King of this world? Will you submit to Him as your Lord? Christmas is the perfect time to do that.

“And Hiram sent to the king 120 talents of gold.” 1 Kings 9:14

What do you think?

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