“Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11, ESV)
It is often assumed there were three Wise Men because they brought three gifts. But the text does not tell us how many Wise Men there were. There could have been three. There could have been thirty.
But I have not come to debate the number of Wise Men. Today, I want to talk about the gifts they bring. The gifts are a highlight of this story. Worship involves bringing an offering to Jesus like the Wise Men offered their gifts. It may be a financial offering. It may be an offering of a song. It may be an offering of service. The broadest definition of worship is anything we give in service to God.
Romans 12:1 says:
“Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1, ESV)
In other words, worship is when we offer ourselves to God. It is giving to him out of everything we have. We do it as an act of love. We do it to honor Jesus. We do it out of gratitude.
The Wise Men bring their gifts to honor Jesus. The gifts were not necessary, but they brought them as part of their gift of worship.
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV)
What do you bring to Jesus? He does not want you to offer it out of guilt or compulsion. When we give reluctantly, that is not worship. Worship is when we joyfully render our gifts of praise to God.
- How do you define offering?
- What do you bring to Jesus that is representative of your love for him?
Lord, I offer you my life. I realize that anything I give, will not equal all that you deserve. Nothing compares to all that you gave to me. But I ask that you would accept my humble offering. May you receive the praise that though all I give and do. Amen.