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December 15, 2022



After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:9-11 NLT



I like it when there are seeds planted in the story to give an indication of what is going to come. Sometimes they can be very subtle, and one can almost miss them. Other times they are a huge twist that one can’t ignore. I love to read into those moments to draw a conclusion of what is ahead. In the story of Jesus’ birth there were shepherds who showed up in a stable to celebrate His birth. Then it would seem everything was fairly normal. But for some reason Joseph and Mary did not return to their home immediately after the birth. They stay in Bethlehem perhaps as much as two years. Maybe Joseph had some family around that needed some work done so he hangs around to earn some money and let the extended family enjoy the new baby. There is a new twist in this story. The magi arrive from the east. This is probably a caravan of travelers with strange clothes and armed guards. They show up unannounced at the home of Joseph and Mary and they bow down and worship the child. They present the child with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The gold was a symbol of His royalty. The frankincense a symbol of His deity (it was used in the Temple to burn as worship to God). But the myrrh is the strange gift. Looking from a lens of two thousand years later we know the rest of the story. We know this was foreshadowing the purpose of Jesus’ trip to earth. He had come to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. We can’t celebrate Christmas without remembering the cross. The cross was the purpose for Christmas. It was not so the world could have a holiday to light trees and give gifts. It was so God and man could be restored to a proper relationship because Jesus was coming to pay the price for our sins by dying on the cross. There is also a practical use for the gifts. Joseph and Mary were about to be forced to flee to Egypt for their lives. They would be able to use each of these gifts as currency to fund their trip and living expenses during their time of fleeing from Herod. God was giving an illustrated sermon on who Jesus was and what He had come to do. But God was also providing for the material needs of this small family.



Holy Spirit help me to remember the cross as I celebrate the birth of Jesus. Help me to remember that You are also my Provider in every season of my life. You can bring provision from some very unusual places.

“Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying based on today’s reading.”

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