Summary: The gifts that the magi presented to the baby Jesus have metaphorical meaning. What do they mean today?
The story about the three magi visiting the baby Yeshua is a problematic story. If such an event took place, why is it only found in Matthew's Gospel? The idea of three magi traveling from Persia to Judea is fascinating. The narrative says that they followed the Bethlehem star. Many people have tried to explain what the Bethlehem star was. We know that the magi were Persian astrologers. In the Near East, people slept on the rooftops, especially in the summer months. The rooftops were the coolest places in the villages and cities.
Since air pollution was nonexistent by sleeping on the rooftop, people were able to view the cosmos. They would have seen every astrological event in the sky. Ancient people believed that when an event occurred, it had to be a message from the LORD. The Book of the Luminaries from 1 Enoch describes all the luminaries' movements, especially the sun and moon.
So, when comets and asteroids touch the atmosphere it was exciting for the people. In Persia, they would seek out the Magi to determine what the omen in the sky meant. We witnessed in December 2020 the conjuncture of Jupiter and Saturn. For a night, it lit up the sky. It only lasts a day or so. A similar or even brighter conjunction could have occurred before Yeshua's birth. Cosmologists have tried to determine what it was. There is computer software that can tell us what the sky looked like when Yeshua was born. The problem is that we do not know what year he was born. Also, we know that Yeshua was not born on December 25. That day was adopted when Constantine, the Roman Emperor, made Christianity the religion of the Empire. December 25th was the birthday of Mithras, which was the religion of the Empire before Christianity. In essence, the date was transferred from Mithras to Yeshua.
Take a moment and ask yourself what the author of Matthew's Gospel was saying in this narrative? It is a spiritual lesson. It was not meant to be a real event, even though it might have been. The church adopted this story and has given it a materialistic fanfare for years. The magi traveled many miles to bring earthly gifts to the Messiah King.
The Magi offered gold, frankincense, and myrr. These three gifts were useless to Yeshua. He grew up to become a poor peasant from the town of Nazareth. What happened to those expensive gifts? Matthew's Gospel does not offer a materialistic answer. HOWEVER, the author does offer a SPIRITUAL ANSWER. Worldly possessions are nice to have in the material world. However, the world to come is not a material world but rather a spiritual world.
Spiritually speaking, what gift do you offer to Yeshua? Have you ever thought about this question? The church likes to talk about the material gifts that we give to Yeshua. They like to tell us about the tithe and the sacrificial gifts of money to the church. Has your pastor ever talked about the spiritual gifts that you can give to Yeshua?
Yeshua is a spiritual being. He resides in the Heavens. Yeshua does not need materials of any kind. Therefore, how can we present gifts to Yeshua? The celebration of Christmas is a celebration of Yeshua's birth (even if it is the wrong day). On your birthday, do you not get gifts from family and friends? Of course, you do. So, what gifts did you offer Yeshua the Messiah on the day of His birth?
It would be best if you were giving Yeshua spiritual gifts. What kind of spiritual gifts can you offer to Yeshua? Simply put, worship. What is the gift of worship to Yeshua? It consists of praising Yeshua and the LORD for everything, both material and spiritual. Praising the LORD consists of expressing your appreciation, your thanks, for everything you are and what you have. Singing hymns, psalms, and songs that praise Yeshua and the LORD is one the best spiritual gifts you can offer. Talking to Yeshua in prayer or even just in conversation is a tremendous gift.
The LORD offers us blessings in many different forms. When one shares one's blessings from the LORD with other people, the result is a spiritual gift to the LORD and Yeshua. Blessings in all forms from Heaven are meant to be shared. Praying for a person's healing is a spiritual blessing. It is also a gift to Yeshua because our spiritual blessings in prayer cause blessings to come from Heaven.
The magi gifts are, therefore, metaphors for our spiritual gifts for Yeshua and the LORD. Gold is a metaphor for our praise and worship. Frankincense is a metaphor for our prayers for ourselves and others. Myrrh is our sharing the blessings received from Heaven with others.
The Zohar says that the more one shares one's blessings from Heaven, the more one will receive.
May the LORD bless you in your learning and studying of His Word.