“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him…When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” Matthew 2:1,2,9-11
Treasures mentioned in Scripture give us precious instruction concerning deposits of wealth. With many examples, we are taught who are the truly wise and the otherwise. An important aspect of being wise, is being wise in time. The Psalmist wrote, “Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him – Ps 2:10-12.
In Romans One, especially verses eighteen through twenty-five, we have spelled out very clearly, how humanity has taken the path of the otherwise. With the wise men of our text, our attitude and activity manifested in what we seek, and what we share may determine whether we are wise or otherwise. What do we treasure, what do we do with what we have? Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven…for where your treasure is there will your heart be also” – Mt. 6:20-21. He also said; “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness,” and all that we have need of would be added unto us – V. 33.
SEEKING: As the wise men then were seeking Jesus, so today, there are those who are not only instructed in the things of God, but keep on seeking more. They come to Him with prepared hearts, receptive, open to divine deposits. They are investing energy, thought, and time wisely. “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her” Proverbs 2:1-5 & 3:13-15.
In Proverbs 8:17-21, where we find Jesus pictured as wisdom personified, we read these wise words, “I love them that love me: and those that seek me early (diligently) shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, that fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.”
The apostle Paul, somewhat overwhelmed as he contemplated some of the divine attributes, cried out; “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom, and knowledge of God!” We also rejoice in the fact, that in Jesus Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and that by God he is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. That, according as it is written, “He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord.” No wonder our apostle said; “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” Oh, the surpassing worth, the priceless privilege of knowing Him intimately! So we today gladly seek Jesus, with the motive of wholehearted worship. Wise men still seek Him.
“We have seen his star…and are come to worship him.” They were divinely guided. We today must enter worship by divine guidance. Those who are wise put God first. His Word has the place of supreme authority in their lives. The Holy Spirit leads trusting hearts into the depths of true spiritual worship by the Word of God. Eph. 5:17-20; I Thess. 5:16-19; John 16:13-15.
Those wise men left the comfort of their homes, came from afar, and as strangers and pilgrims, traveled many weary miles. True seekers today overcome hindrances of the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can’t allow the pleasures, riches, and cares, discouragements or disappointments to keep us from going on. Let not the love of ease, self-indulgence, pride, or satanic accusations hold us back. Their journey was accompanied with joy. Joy is a characteristic of those who value Him most.
SHARING: “They opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts.” Worship of the wise is associated with giving, that is, expressions of our appreciation of His worth. When they saw Him, “they fell down and worshipped him.” Spiritual worship is an outflowing result of divine revelation. Any knowledge or wisdom aside from that comes to naught. When I think of “open Treasures,” I think of the importance of the openness of our lives before the Lord. Jesus said; “Let these sayings of mine sink down into your ears.” Jesus spoke in symbol in Matthew 13: of the Word, as the good seed taking lodging in the heart, and bringing forth fruit.
The apostle said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” It is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things, Jesus asked, “Have you understood these things?” Then He said, “Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man…which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” Thank God, we can bring forth from the treasure of our hearts and share that which has been newly revealed, made real and living in us, but, also, it is our privilege to share that which is familiar. We need not be afraid, of repeating as the Holy Spirit leads, renewing, reminding, refreshing hearts.
THEY CAME PREPARED: Those men came expecting, but they also came ready to give. Whether we come together to meeting, or are kneeling at home we should give to Him that which we have stored in our hearts of our appreciation of Him. I am sure that when we do, we receive the most. What can we give God? The best we can give Him or others, we must first take form His hand. I Cor. 4:7, “What hast thou that thou didst not receive?” II Cor. 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” Oh, what a deposit of wealth God has placed in us! GLORY, GLORY to God forever! Songs of Solomon 7:10-13. “I am my beloved’s and his desire is toward me. Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages…there will I give thee my loves. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which, I have laid up for thee, O my beloved. We have here spoken in symbol, some treasures of the heart. This has been called the Brides hope chest.
These wise men’s gifts picture for us some good examples of giving.
“GOLD:” They, discerning His worth, expressed appreciation of the fact that He was God, descended from the excellent glory. These gifts are worthy of a king, The KING. He was born king, born to reign. The gift of Gold expresses our appreciation of Jesus’ sovereignty. The gold we may give him is His pre-eminence in our lives.
“FRANKINCENSE:” Here, we may sense our appreciation of Jesus as Saviour. This perfume was the basis of the incense, for the sweet-savour, or burnt offerings. Its fragrance comes forth in contact with fire. Even as a man, Jesus was wholly consumed of the Father’s will. He said; “not My will, but thine.” We acknowledge His deity, but we also appreciate His Holy humanity. It was as a man that Jesus offered Himself without spot to God, as a sweet-smelling savour. God said of Him, “I am well pleased.” Jesus as a man, fully glorified the Father. He could say, ‘I do always the things that please the Father.” He perfectly translated the will of God into terms of everyday living. As we yield our lives to God, letting Jesus have the pre-eminence, our lives also become a sweet-savour of Christ unto our God. Let our appreciation to God for His Son, ascend before the throne on high. Giving Him praise, the fruit of our lips, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
“MYRRH:” As we give Him gold, acknowledging His deity, recognizing His sovereignty, honor His right to reign in us; and frankincense, offering praise in appreciation for the Man that became our Savior, let us also give Him Myrrh. Jesus suffered so immeasurably in becoming the mediator between God and man. Myrrh, one of the chief spices, was an ingredient used in the Holy anointing oil. It was also used for burial. Its sweet fragrance comes forth from its crushing. As our hearts are broken considering the suffering He went through for us, let us give Him Myrrh, presenting our bodies a living sacrifice.