2023 Worship Guide

Page 10 2023 Worship Guide LINCOLN DAILY NEWS December 2023 Michael V. Mallick, Jefferson Street Christian Church In Matthew 2:1-12 it says that Magi visited Jesus and their purpose in coming was to worship Him. There is much debate as to who these Magi really were. Many have called them wise men or kings. Some have suggested they were priests or astrologers from the Middle East. What we do know is these wise men brought gifts to Jesus of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. And these gifts were not only appropriate gifts for a king, but each one also carried special prophetic significance. For instance, gold was a very precious metal. Symbolically, it represented purity and great worth. And in thinking about gold – Exodus 25 details that almost everything in the temple was made of gold or plated with this precious metal. And so, what we learn from the magi’s gift of gold is that it honored Jesus as a king. The Magi came to acknowledge Jesus as the One whose sovereignty began before His birth (Matthew 2:2). Another gift given to Jesus was Frankincense. Now according to Merriam-Webster Frankincense is, “a fragrant gum resin from trees of a genus (Boswellia of the family Burseraceae) of Somalia and southern coastal Arabia that is an important incense resin and has been used in religious rites, perfumery, and embalming.” When exposed to air, the sap hardens into a solid that burns easily and incense/frankincense was a key ingredient used in Hebrew worship (Exodus 30:33-36 and Leviticus 2:1-3). That is why this gift of frankincense, because of its role in temple worship, prophesied of Jesus’ role as our high priest. Myrrh, like frankincense, is the dried sap of certain trees. Transportation costs made both substances very expensive. Webster says myrrh is “a yellowish-brown to reddishbrown aromatic gum resin with a bitter slightly pungent taste obtained from a tree (especially Commiphora abyssinica of the family Burseraceae) of eastern Africa Continued --