You know the story. The wise men brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to Jesus at his birth.
But why gold? Gold is the stuff of kings. It was a symbol of wealth. If you had it, you showed it off. You covered your palace with it. It was soft enough you could melt it, and make really cool things with it. It was shiny, and it caught people’s attention. Wars were fought over it. Get the gold was the motto of kings, and the object of armies. You could trade with it, and get more stuff.
Think about it. We can speculate a bit. The wise men came from the east—some say the region of what had been known as Babylon, the very same area where the prophet Daniel was in exile. Perhaps it was Daniel's teachings that had taught these “wise men” about the bible, about Jesus and the prophecy of the king to come.
It was this same Babylon that years before had invaded Jerusalem and taken their gold. Perhaps even this was the gold of David and Solomon that now rested at the feet of this infant child. It belonged to him and his people from the start. They were returning to him what was already his.
By the way, Joseph and Mary could use this gold too. It was practical. Remember the angel told them to flee to Egypt. Gold makes travelling a bit easier; it was a means to get there. It accomplished God’s purposes of ultimate redemption.
Gold—it’s the stuff of kings. It’s already His, and we bring it so He can use it for His redemptive purposes. Sounds like there’s a message in all this….Christmas.
William High is the President of the National Christian Foundation Heartland. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.