After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. (NIV)
“We three kings of orient are, bearing gifts we traverse afar, field and fountain, moor and mountain, following yonder star.” Most of us are familiar with this Christmas carol. It’s really a colorful story. Royalty from exotic places bring unusual gifts, especially for a baby: gold, incense and myrrh. These gifts certainly weren’t on the registry at Babies R Us.
Gold signified Jesus’ royalty. The carolers sing, “Gold I bring to crown Him again.” Incense signified Jesus’ deity: “Incense owns a Deity nigh.” The myrrh, however, clearly represents Jesus’ mission on the earth: “Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume, Breathes of life of gathering gloom, Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.” Obviously, the Magi had never been to a baby shower before.
In the midst of all of this pageantry and symbolic meaning is a miracle. The Magi followed a star that showed them the way. Some scholars and scientists think that this might have been a comet. Whatever it was, from the biblical account we understand that only the Magi noticed it. Herod didn’t have a clue. He hadn’t seen the star. It seems that the star might have been visible only to the Magi. At least if others did see it, only the Magi understood the significance of it.
How is God speaking to you these days? How is He directing you? God wants to use you. God wants to participate in your life. Have you slowed down to notice the signs? Have you created a quiet place to listen to His whispers?
Copyright © 2009 by Allen White
Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.