Summary: This sermon is a deeper look at the gifts given to Jesus for his birth
Words of Affirmation:
Text: Matthew 2:11
Subject: Giving to God
Context: At this time of year...seeing as how it is Christmas I figured this would be the perfect time to talk about the gifts that were given to Jesus so we are going to read the scripture tonight and look at this in detail. We don’t have a baby Jesus to go to but we have an altar to go to and give these gifts. I will explain each gift and the meaning behind it and what our gifts today are.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 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."
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written:
6 "’But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’"
7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
9 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. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 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.
A. Gold is mentioned in the bible as a precious commodity, it is something that is considered treasure
B. One who has lots of Gold is considered wealthy
Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.
y your wisdom and understanding
you have gained wealth for yourself
and amassed gold and silver
D. This was their wealth, their increase
E. The bible speaks of increase
F. Exodus 23:19, Bring the first fruits of your soil, of your property. Wealth!
G. When the kings brought the Gold, they were bringing the first Tithe to Jesus
H. They were saying I am giving you my treasure
I. When you rec’v your pay check, allowance, that is the “first fruit” of your increase
J. Some people believe that because your parents tithe you don’t have to (for teens)...that is not biblical. The first fruits of YOUR INCREASE. Not the first fruits of your PARENTS increase. Plus you get into a habit that will change you the rest of your life
K. They were setting a standard of GIVING of their increase
A. Frankincense is also a gum resin similar to myrrh from the tree Boswellia Thurifera found in the Middle East and Somalia. The younger the tree the more valuable and the better the sap. When the bark is cut, the sap is left to harden on the tree for about 3 months. When it is ready, it is scraped off into containers. Frankincense was used in incense for religious and government ceremonies. Although its use as incense was more popular, frankincense was also used in perfume. And the charred frankincense is still used today in kohl, a black eyeliner Middle Easterners wear under their eyes. Churches all over Europe still use incense during certain ceremonies.
B. The meaning behind the incense is NOT the smell but the smoke
C. When Gods people would pray in the old testament they would burn incense because it was thought that the prayers would reach the hand of God
D. Listen to some scripture
May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
0 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.
hen I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."