THIS Sunday the Church remembers the wise men’s visit to Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
When these visitors from the east arrived in Israel they naturally went to Jerusalem – the capital city - to find the new king that had been revealed to them through a new star in the sky.
On hearing of their search, King Herod asked the wise men to find Jesus and tell him where he was, claiming he too wanted to go and worship him.
He actually intended to kill the child, worried that the baby posed a threat to his power away. Yet in a dream the wise men were warned of Herod’s plans and they never returned to him.
Contrary to the nativity scenes showing the wise men in the stable, when they found Jesus his family would have been living in a normal house in Bethlehem, as by this time Jesus would have been months old or even past his first birthday.
The gifts they brought seem quite strange to give to a baby, but they were significant.
Gold is associated with kings and Christians believe that Jesus is the King of kings.
Frankincense is sometimes used in worship in churches and showed that Jesus is worthy of worship.
Myrrh is an expensive perfume that was sometimes used for embalming dead bodies and was a sign of the future Jesus faced – to die on a cross.
At this time of year it’s easy to celebrate a new-born baby lying in a manger and forget that this is the beginning of the story not the end.
The wise men’s gifts point to what was to follow and why Jesus came. Jesus came as God’s Son – God in person – a royal figure worthy of our worship. And yet he lived the life of a humble carpenter followed by three years as a wandering preacher. And he died a horrible death nailed to a cross to pay the price of the sins of the world.
For those who have put their trust in Jesus and seek to live life his way, God offers forgiveness and freedom from all the things we have got wrong and freedom from all the guilt and shame.
That’s a reason to celebrate!
Jesus’ birth is rightly a time for celebration. Yet let’s not forget that he didn’t remain a baby forever.
The choice of the wise men’s gifts pointed to a destiny that was even more amazing than the nativity story – death and resurrection, resulting in the gift of eternal life in heaven for those who trust Jesus with their lives.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Selby
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: West