“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” (Matthew 2:10, ESV)

Among those who acknowledged the birth of the Messiah was a group of wise men, perhaps philosophers or astrologers from a land somewhere to the East of Jerusalem possibly Persia. From their astronomical observations and their reading of the Hebrew Scriptures (Numbers 24:17) they discerned that a great Jewish king had been born.

When they got to Jerusalem the Magi approached the religious authorities. The Jewish chief priests, scribes and teachers possessed the words of God and claimed to understand and interpret them. Yet they were ignorant of the signs and prophecies the Scriptures contained. They had no idea about the birth of the Messiah. They were deeply disturbed at the suggestion that he had been born. They did not believe. If they had believed what the Magi said, they had they would have accompanied them and worshipped as well.

The Magi had come a long way to find the Messiah, and when they did, they were overcome with ecstatic joy and worshipped him. These men had godly faith even though they were Gentiles, and not of the Chosen people. They knew that Jesus was a unique baby for they presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These gifts were appropriate for Jesus for they were symbols which acknowledged His Kingly authority, His divinity and His humanity. As Christians we too must also acknowledge all of these three characteristics of Jesus. Christ Jesus is both God and man and thus fully qualified to be the one and only perfect sacrifice which can redeem us from the consequences of sin. But admitting this is not enough. We must also acknowledge that He is our King and we must humbly walk in His love with obedience. Such acknowledgments the Magi made with their gifts, but the gift that Jesus demands from us is not a thing or a symbol: He wants our whole being.