Matthew 2:1-2 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, [a]wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 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 their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Our basis for devotionals is to stay on basic elements as much as possible, I feel a different prompting today to go slightly deeper. I hope it will be a blessing for you, but if you have questions, please feel free to ask.
In the bible we read a very short chapter in Matthew 2 and a very short story of the Magi who come to worship the new born King and they bring 3 very unique and symbolic gifts. Apocryphal texts shared some very valuable insight into why these specific gifts were chosen and I would be happy to share these to you on a later stage for extra personal reading. In this text however young Jesus is given gold, frankincense and myrrh as an act of worship.
- Gold represents the kingship of Jesus, his purity and the embodiment of his royalty and power.
- Frankincense embodies his priesthood, an anointing oil used to declare his right to rule and the purity of his office, and because of the sweet smell of frankincense also it is symbolic to the purity of his worship and His deity. Frankincense would produce a very strong aroma that would smell amazing in a house when used so in ancient times they would use it to bring a sweet smell throughout the building
- Myrrh was also an anointing oil but mixed with spices that had diversity in uses. In Exodus 30 it was the ingredient used by priests in preparing the priests, ornaments and the altar in the temple for reuse. Myrrh was used then as perfume, anointing oil and most importantly a medicinal tonic. Myrrh was a bitter tasting gum resin and was used through scripture as a painkiller. It represents consecration and healing.
Watch closely how these three elements are a necessity in our worship to the King, The Magi said, “we have come so we can worship HIM” so these three were offerings of worship. They also convey effectively what worship should embody; purity, kingship, priesthood, consecration (holiness) but also importantly healing.
David’s gift as a worshipper was a key element in the healing of Saul, when a vexing spirit from God came upon him. The structure of worship works similarly to how Myrrh works. In some instances Myrrh works by being so bitter that it distracts you from the pain of your affliction while it heals you. The bitterness is so strong it changes your focus from your pain to the taste of the oil. One thing that is common among all worshippers is the attitude they have. A life of worship will remove vexation and torment brought through depression, frustration, fear, isolation etc.
When you begin to truly worship God your focus shifts from your pain to him. Jesus was given Myrrh to prepare him for his death, but also to shift his focus from the pain of the cross to His ultimate act of worship; a surrendered life. Every Psalm of David shows the struggle of being human, of being human and the suffering of a man, but David is often distracted from all that by the awe of God, and the beauty of a loving God.
Worship removes heavy burdens, it shatters fear, it kills doubt and erases depression. You cannot worship God truly and think about yourself. You cannot focus on Him and focus on you. If you feel vexed and troubled, find a place of worship!