Summary: The journey of the magi and the gifts they brought to the Christ Child still inspire us today.
GIFTS FOR THE CHRIST CHILD
Matthew 2: 1-12
The birth of our Lord Jesus was announced in three magnificent ways: the annunciation by the angel to Mary (Luke 1: 26-33); the angelic choir (Luke 2: 8-14) and the star in the east (Matthew 2:2). It is the visit of the wise men that we will consider here.
I. THOSE WHO JOURNEYED: THE MAGI (WISE MEN).
These were the learned men of the orient, most probably from Persia. They were given to the study of astronomy and philosophy and, as a rule were men of considerable wealth.
II. THE JOURNEY:
The cause for the journey:
“Where is He who is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2
The journey itself:
Probably about 12-14 days, very arduous and dangerous.
They inquired of Herod the king, probably bearing credentials which entitled them to meet with King Herod.
Ultimately, they reached “the house”:
“And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened heir treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense ,and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11.
But notice this: Jesus was born in a manger.
“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.”
Apparently, sometime between His birth and the visit of the wise men, a room in the inn became available.
III. THE WORSHIP THEY MANIFESTED:
That they “fell down” indicated that they recognized Him as the One they were seeking..the One born King of the Jews and thus were paying Him homage.
That they “worshiped Him” indicated that they recognized Him as deity. More than mere homage to a king...but worship of One recognized as God.
That they “presented unto Him gifts” was in itself significant, but the gifts they gave the Christ Child are even more significant.
Gold: an offering for a King.
Frankincense: an offering for a priest:
Myrrh: an offering for the Messiah.
IV. EVENTS THAT FOLLOWED THE VISIT OF THE MAJI:
The wise men were directed by God to return to their homeland by another route:
“Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.” Matthew 2:12.
Joseph was directed by God to flee with Mary and baby Jesus to Egypt.
“Now when they departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him. When he arose, he took the yound Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt."
Joseph’s obedience to the angel’s command resulted in the perfect fulfillment of the prophecy of Hosea 11:1: "...And out of Egypt I called My son."