Gifts for Baby Jesus
Matthew 2:1-12; The Desire of Ages, pp. 59-64
We worship Jesus when we give gifts to Him.
“They saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him” (Matthew 2:11).
Do you like to get presents? Most people do. A long time ago some men gave special gifts to Jesus. It may have been like this:
I see it, I see it!” The man looking into the night sky was suddenly very excited. “What do you think?” he asked the men with him.
“It could be the sign we’ve been looking for,” answered one of his friends. Together the men talked about the new “star” they had been studying.
These men were Magi, men known in their country as honest and wise. Although they were not Jews, they had studied the Hebrew Scriptures and learned about a special star. That star meant it was time for the Messiah to be born. So when the bright new star appeared in the night sky, they rejoiced. They were sure it was the sign of the Messiah, the Savior.
After much discussion, some of these Wise Men decided to follow the star. Traveling at night to keep the star in sight, the men journeyed for many days. They kept studying the Scriptures as they went. And God’s Holy Spirit guided them.
After many weeks of travel, the star stopped over Jerusalem. The Wise Men expected to find everyone talking about the birth of their new King. “Where is He who is born King of the Jews?” they asked. “We have seen His star and have come to worship Him.” But strangely, no one seemed to know anything about it.
Before long, King Herod heard about the strangers and their questions. He wanted to know more, so he sent for them. “Sir, can you direct us to the Jewish king who has been born?” asked one of the men. “We have come to worship Him.”
Now Herod knew that he was not well liked by his subjects. The idea of a new king made him angry and jealous. But he pretended to be interested, so he could find out more. Before answering the men from the east, Herod questioned the Jewish priests and scribes. They reported that Scripture said the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
Herod then told the Wise Men: “Go to Bethlehem and search for the child. And when you find Him, come and tell me. I want to worship Him too.”
Soon the Wise Men arrived in Bethlehem. There, they found the place where the little family was staying. But no royal guard stood nearby. There was nothing at all to show the world that this child was special. They wondered, Can this be the Messiah we have looked for? At first it didn’t seem possible. But when the Wise Men saw the baby, they knew! This Jesus truly was the Savior! And they bowed down and worshipped Him. Then they gave their costly gifts to Mary and Joseph—gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Soon it was time to leave. The Magi planned to go back to Jerusalem to share their good news with King Herod. But in a dream, God told them not to go there. Wicked King Herod really wanted to harm the baby, not worship Him. So they went home another way.
We can worship Jesus just as the Wise Men did. We can give Him our time and our talents. We can give gifts of money or other things. But most of all, we can give Him our hearts. What will your special gift of worship be for Jesus?