Read His Words Before Ours!
My husband is ridiculously difficult to buy gifts for. Let me explain, he’s a tech guy and a genius. So, even *if* I find the right gift, and *if* it’s within a reasonable price range, he will absolutely, without fail, find out what I’m getting him. Easily the most frustrating person on my shopping list! Year after year of very un-cool, “oh that’s nice” gifts, I went all out and found a helicopter he could control with his phone. It was epically cool! And I went to great lengths to cover my tracks of searching and purchasing it. Christmas day arrived and his response was so awesome, exactly what I’d been hoping to evoke for years! He took his insanely expensive helicopter outside for a spin. Flying down the street, he accidentally pushed the “emergency” button and down went the copter, smashing into the pavement, never to soar again. Defeat.
Gifts are hard!
(Unless you’re buying for me. I like coffee and running clothes and good books. Just throwing that out there :-))
I love finding the perfect gift that will make the recipient feel loved and cared for, but it does take time. Last-minute gifts generally aren’t the ones we’ve carefully thought over as we’ve considered the person we’re buying for. The gifts that mean the most are the ones that reflect a sense of knowing. I’ve received so many presents, but only a few have really impacted me deeply….not because of their price, or the surprise, but because the gift demonstrated that I was known and loved.
Jesus was presented with gifts that displayed an incredible knowing behind them that could only have been divinely revealed. Enter, the Wise Men.
There’s quite a bit of mystery surrounding these magi from the East. They had studied the same prophecies you can read about in your copy of the Bible, they studied the stars, and had quite likely been influenced by the prophet Daniel and his faith in the one true God. After a lifetime of studying prophetic scripture, it’s possible that these gentiles, known as the “wisest of the wise”, understood what the Jews were blatantly missing.
Their King would come in an unlikely city, without riches or fame, and would save His people by laying down His life in the most brutal of ways at the hands of the government the Jews were so desperately hoping to escape.
Curious. Strange. A King who served. A King who would give up His life.
This coming King was worth their time.
He was worth their study.
He was worth their worship.
He was worth their space.
These wise men became engrossed with finding the “One born King of the Jews” because the more they knew Him, the more space they naturally gave Him in their lives.
The more they studied, the more consumed they became until they were ready to spend significant amounts of money and time to find this King who had become more than just a passing curiosity.
This God, with the heart of a shepherd, had taken up residency in their space, changing them along the way. They came ready to worship, ready with gifts that spoke of who they knew Him to be.
A gift for royal deity. The wise men recognized Jesus as King.
Not just king of the Jews, but King of creation, King of the Universe, King over sin and death. Why else should gentile kings seek out and bow down to a child-king?
A gift for the Mediator. God instituted the burning of frankincense in front of the Tent of Meeting, where He would meet with the High Priest to commune with His people. Jesus became that High Priest as He once and for all became our intercessor, the perfect mediator between God and man because sin no longer stood in the way of our relationship.
A gift for burial. Myrrh was a spice used in embalming the deceased. This gift spoke of His coming death, His sacrifice that would pay the debt of sin for all humanity. Not because he died like any other human, but because He rose again and conquered the grave for all who believe in Him!
The magi’s gifts reflected what they knew to be true about Jesus because of their intentional studies.
We can do the same.
As the days get closer to Christmas, let’s create intentional space to simply know the Messiah, and let our gifts flow from that intimacy.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!