11 And after entering the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshipped Him. Then, after opening their treasure chests, they presented to Him gifts [fit for a king, gifts] of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”
Matthew 2:10-11 AMP
I believe that true worship will cost you something. It will certainly cost you time – the actual time spent worshipping (adoring and honouring) God. Our giving of finances into God’s kingdom is an act of worship, too. Time spent focusing on honouring Jesus and money given to His cause are both acts of worship. You could have used that time and those finances for something else, but rather than using it on yourself, you used it to bless God’s heart. Although it’s time and money that you’ve sacrificed, it’s more accurate to look at it an investment.
These wise men had started their worship of Jesus (the new-born King) long before they met Him. Their journey was part of their worship. It cost them a great deal of effort, time and finances to make the journey – they could have done many other things but they chose to invest their time, effort and finances in seeking and worshipping Jesus.
When they entered into Mary and Joseph’s house, and when they saw baby Jesus, the Bible says that these dignified wise men fell down and worshipped Him. The worship was not demanded or expected – Jesus was just a baby – their worship was a natural response to them recognizing who Jesus was. When we seek Jesus from our hearts (as the wise men did) we will start to recognize Jesus for who He is, and then our worship (and giving) will be a natural response from our hearts; motivated by our love for Him.
The wise men then worshipped Jesus further by opening their treasure chests and presenting Him with gifts. I love this! It was the treasure of the wise men, which means it cost them to give these gifts of honour to Jesus! They weren’t simply delivering gifts from someone else – they were bringing their treasure as gifts for Jesus.
The journey had already cost them a great deal and yet they had planned and prepared to give generously to the new-born King when they met Him (Proverbs 18:16). The shepherds had visited Jesus upon invitation by the angels. They were welcomed at the birth of the Messiah even though there was no record of them bringing any gifts. Gifts were not necessary nor were they expected because Jesus Himself was a gift, for all mankind (John 3:16; Luke 2:10). The wise men were not invited to the birth, nor were they invited to visit, but they were welcome. These men were wise enough not to come empty-handed because they recognized who Jesus was.
They didn’t just pick up gifts for Jesus on the way to Bethlehem as an afterthought, they were purposeful in bringing gifts fit for a King – a small fortune which was symbolic of Jesus’ Kingship and Deity (gold), His righteousness and sacrifice (frankincense), and His suffering on our behalf (myrrh).
We are not told how many wise men came, nor are we told how much treasure was given, but I am sure that if it was fit for a king it must have been substantial. Mary and Joseph were not the wealthiest of people and yet they now had the large task of raising the Messiah – God’s Son! God worked through the generosity of the wise men to fund His mission of raising His Son. God will never call you to do something and not provide for you to do it – God always funds His mission – but He won’t drop the money from the sky! Today, God still works through the generosity of wise men (and women) to fun His mission – the mission of telling the whole world about the greatest Gift ever given.