But Wait, There’s Myrrh!


Three gifts arrived at the home of Jesus’ family 2000 years ago. Whether they came from three “Kings” is impossible to tell. We don’t how much of each of deposited, or if several brought the same thing. Tradition says “three” Magi were involved, but that is based entirely on the three kinds of gifts. (Note: There is a church which claims to hold the three skulls of these men, but collecting relics was a very popular pastime 17 centuries ago.)

All three items were extremely valuable: gold for obvious reasons but the others for the difficulty in extracting them and their fragrance. Frankincense was often used for anointing royalty while Myrrh was usually employed in funerary practice. All three were royal gifts, fitting the narrative that these Magi believes they were looking for the next “King of the Jews”. Odd that we don’t read anything about them coming for any of the Herods. They show up for this one King and disappear.

There is some speculation that Daniel’s role as leader of the Wise Men of Babylon had something to do with their expectation of this King. If right that would be a remarkable amount of star-watching and expectation. But perhaps they were showing up the priests of Judaism by doing so, since the Jews practically had the address of Jesus’ birthplace in their OT Scrolls. Daniel has predicted to the year when Jesus would appear, and Micah predicted the place He would be born. Anyone with reasonable math skills should have known to set up a lookout post in Bethlehem. Even when the Magi appear looking for the child, the priests take little time reporting Jesus’ prophetic birthplace.

Did they think they had plenty of time before they had to get ready? Jesus’ own people, who had specific prophetic indications when Jesus would appear, failed to be ready, and had to be reminded by Gentiles. Hmm. Sound familiar?

Many who allege to belong to Christ today are not ready for His return. They know He is coming. But are they ready with their life and work? Do we not know that we will be judged not only for accepting or not Jesus Christ, but also by the works we have done for Him? Christian consider this a warning. He is coming back for you. You need to be ready. Your life needs to reflect your passion for the Savior and your gratitude for your salvation. Getting baptized is not something to check off the list and wait for pickup. It is a necessary part of Jesus moving into your life. You need to grow and mature in faith so that at His coming He may say to you, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

The Magi brought gifts to the child Jesus. What spiritual offerings do you bring?

God bless you today.

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I've been in ministry in the Christian Churches/ Churches of Christ for 20+ years. Finished my doctorate in Biblical Studies in 2015. Serve today as a Hospital Chaplain.

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