Mary and Joseph were probably surprised at the appearance of Magi from a foreign land after their infant son Jesus was born. They weren’t expecting any guests; they hadn’t sent out any announcements. However, the proud heavenly Father had.
To the shepherds he sent angels in their field at night and to the Magi he sent a star. So, here they were to worship the new king and to offer three significant gifts. “And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him; and opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11)
These are not popular baby gifts today of course. In fact, even then they were not typical. They were actually prophetic gifts proclaiming the future of this divine baby.
Gold speaks of royalty and kingship of the Christ. To those who expected an earthly king he would prove disappointing but to those in tune with the kingdom of God he would be all they could ever hope for and more.
Frankincense was fragrant anointing oil or incense that had been used in the Old Testament by the priests. Therefore, this costly gift spoke of the priestly office that Jesus would fulfill. Ultimately, he would represent us to the Father; his perfect sacrifice being himself. Finally, the myrrh. Even more expensive than frankincense, it was often used as an embalming ointment. Myrrh foretold the death of the Suffering Servant. Did Jesus’ earthly parents understand it all as they accepted the precious gifts?
What about you? As you meditate on the gifts of the Magi, remember how costly was his gift to you.