We love to give our loved ones presents they will enjoy. The best gifts, however, should be offered to those we may not know. Sometimes sacrifice of our time and gifts may seem hard, if offered to those not close to us, including our enemies. Jesus’ example of offering healing and a new beginning is meant to show us how to give to those who may not deserve it, may spurn it, or may not even accept it.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
The Greatest Gift of all
When I visited a large museum years ago, the gem room particularly fascinated me. Heavily guarded, the room held row upon row of glass cases filled with the most brilliant jewels one could imagine. The dazzling brightness of large emeralds and diamonds made me blink. One special display held the crown jewels of a royal family. They were beyond description in beauty and value, definitely not the kind of jewelry to wear in a barn.
But precious jewels were found in a barn once—in a stable of Bethlehem where Jesus was born. When the wise men came to pay homage to the Christ-child, they offered him some of their most valued treasures—gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Sent by wicked King Herod to search for baby Jesus, the wise men followed an eastern star to Bethlehem’s stable. “When they saw the star they were overjoyed…and bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.” (Matthew 2:10-11)
Their gifts were presented as a religious offering. Frankincense, an aromatic used in sacrificial offerings, symbolized Jesus’ divinity. The gold they presented to the infant king was a token of his royalty. And the myrrh, used in perfuming ointments and in burials, forecast the future sufferings of Christ. All of the gifts held great value. And so they should, for there is none more worthy to receive such gifts than the divine Son of God. He, our suffering servant and king, is the most valued of all.
Though we may not have rich gifts to present to our Savior, we can offer Him our thanksgiving and praise, our worship, and our hearts.
Lord, in You are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. We recognize You as the greatest treasure of all. We bow in awe to think that You left Your heavenly throne to dwell among men as a humble servant. To You, worthy of the most costly jewels and oils, we offer You our hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.