My pastor has been teaching through Matthew chapter 2, about the visit from the wise men of the East who came seeking the Christ-child.
Mt. 2:9-11 describes them finding Jesus and offering him gifts fit for a king: “After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.”
I knew these were gifts appropriate for royalty, they were expensive offerings. But my pastor pointed out the symbolism of each of the three gifts in a way that I hadn’t picked up on before.
Gold is a gift for a king.
Frankincense speaks of deity because it was something offered to God.
Myrrh was a perfume or ointment used for many things, including burial ceremonies: a gift for a mortal.
So these gifts pointed to crucial theology about Jesus who was fully man, fully God and the King of Kings.