The Gift of the Magi - Gold

This morning we will wrap up discussing the three gifts of the Magi concluding with the gift of gold. Gold has always been valuable and regardless of how wealthy these Magi were this is a huge gift. So, why would they make such a sacrifice?

Reason #1

Worship prompts sacrifice

The Magi worship then they opened their treasures.

Matthew 2:11 (NIV) — 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

That’s what happens when you worship something – your wealth will follow. Jesus taught this in the Sremon on the Mount:

Matthew 6:19–21 (NIV) — 19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

If your treasures chests are not opening to support and participate in the kingdom of God are you really worshipping Jesus? Do I really believe in the kingdom he has come to establish? These wise men opened up their treasures to Jesus because that’s what you do when you worship someone – here’s what I have. How can I participate?

Reason #2

Some things are worth more than gold

We are obsessed with wealth. This is a constant battle in our lives – thinking that wealth is going to make everything right

So many scriptures come to mind – here are a few:

Psalm 19:7–10 (NIV) — 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.

Living in a relationship with God is more valuable

Paul instructs Timothy on how to teach on wealth.

1 Timothy 6:6–10 (NIV) — 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

1 Timothy 6:17–19 (NIV) — 17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

You have to let go of gold to take hold of life. The wise men found something worth more than their gold. Have you?

Reason #3

They knew Jesus was king

Dignitaries give gifts to other dignitaries. In giving gold to Jesus they were recognizing his kingship. Gold was a common gift from one dignitary to another.

1 Kings 10:23–25 (NIV) — 23 King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. 24 The whole world sought audience with Solomon to hear the wisdom God had put in his heart. 25 Year after year, everyone who came brought a gift—articles of silver and gold, robes, weapons and spices, and horses and mules.

On his first preaching tour recorded in Matthew this is how it’s summarized:

Matthew 4:17 (NIV) — 17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Jesus came to institute a kingdom. Every kingdom has a king and Jesus is it. Jesus is the one we submit to. Jesus is the one we honor. This gift of gold reminds us that Jesus is indeed a king.

Sandwiched in between those 2 scriptures from 1 Timothy we read about money are these words:

1 Timothy 6:11–16 (NIV) — 11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you 14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

Jesus is not just a king but king of all kings!

However, it’s different from just about every other kingdom you’ve heard of. It’s a kingdom of humility and grace. Everything about Jesus' life points to this. 

  • Born in a manger
  • Raised in Nazareth
  • Had no home let alone a palace
  • He was more likely to be found in the company of castoffs than celebrities
  • He enlisted uneducated men to be his students rather than intellectual well-trained men
  • He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey
  • He died on a cross a death reserved for those cursed by God

Everything about his kingdom turns on its head our ideas of power and influence

But here’s another difference – his kingdom will last forever. Every other kingdom of this world will fall but not his. Every other king will be vanquished but King Jesus is King for all eternity. And one day that king is coming back and take all with him who have lived lives of obedience and submission to him. And he will welcome them into his eternal kingdom of joy, peace, and life.

So today I ask you, Is Jesus your King?