Kenneth W. Hagin
Each year at Christmas we see signs of the season—winter symbols such as reindeer, snowmen, and Christmas trees decking the halls and adorning the malls. But amidst the world’s holiday celebration, we also see signs of Christmas: angels, manger scenes, and wise men worshipping the baby, Jesus.
Because the wise men worshipped Jesus and honored Him by giving Him gifts, I want to study the importance of gifts, namely the Gift of Jesus, and show you why Jesus is the perfect Gift. Let’s begin by reading the passage of scripture about Jesus’ birth and the wise men’s journey to see Him.
MATTHEW 2:1–3, 9–11 (NIV)
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi[wise men] from the east came to Jerusalem
2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. . . .
9 After they had heard the king,[the wise men] went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.
At Christmastime, we often see three wise men depicted in the manger scene presenting their gifts to the baby Jesus. While there is not definite proof that there were only three of them, only three gifts were mentioned.
Gifts are important, and the gifts given to Jesus were also important. Jesus was given gold, incense (or frankincense), and myrrh. We don’t know for sure what each of these gifts represented, but it is likely that these particular gifts were chosen for a reason.
According to tradition, gold was given to the infant King as a token of His royalty. Frankincense, a fragrant incense used in sacrificial offerings, was meant to represent Jesus’ deity. Myrrh, a perfume or ointment, was a token of His future suffering.
During the Christmas season, we all think about the gifts we want to buy for friends and family. We try to find that “perfect gift.” It’s been said that a gift must meet three criteria for it to be considered “perfect.” Number one, the gift should reflect the one who gives it. Number two, the gift should reflect knowledge of the one who receives it—in other words, knowledge of their needs, desires, tastes, and so forth. And number three, the gift should be of a nature and quality that will hold its value as time goes on.
We know God gave mankind the perfect Gift when He sent His Son Jesus. The Gift of Jesus meets all of the criteria for being a perfect gift. Number one, Jesus reflects the One Who gave Him—God the Father. Number two, God’s gift of His Son reflects knowledge of our needs. And number three, the Gift of Jesus is of a nature and quality that will hold its value as times goes on. Jesus’ value is eternal! John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV). God gave us the perfect Gift when He gave us Jesus!
Let’s briefly look at each of these criteria individually. First, Jesus is the perfect Gift because He reflects the Father who gave Him.
HEBREWS 1:3 (New Living Translation)
3 The Son reflects God’s own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly. . . .
COLOSSIANS 1:15 (NIV)
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Jesus Himself said that anyone who had seen Him had seen the Father (John 14:9). The Father’s words were spoken from Jesus’ lips. The Father’s mercy and compassion were seen in Jesus’ actions. The Father’s abundant provision was demonstrated through Jesus’ generosity. The Father’s great power and love were revealed to us through Jesus! Jesus is the perfect Gift, and the perfect reflection of the One Who gave Him.
Second, Jesus is the perfect Gift because God gave Him with knowledge of our needs. God knew we needed a Savior, Deliverer, Redeemer, Healer, and Friend. We needed someone who was fully God and fully man. Only Jesus could meet this need.
Being fully God enabled Jesus to carry our sin. His Deity enabled Him to be the Sacrifice Who could bear the sin of the world along with the penalties of sickness, poverty, and spiritual death.
Being fully human allowed Jesus to identify with what we go through, enabling Him to provide for all of our needs and desires and to care for us in any situation.
Jesus became our Substitute. We owed a debt we could not pay, and Jesus paid a debt He did not owe. Because of Jesus, you and I can be free. If our greatest need had been information, technology, money, or pleasure, God would have sent us an educator, a scientist, an economist, or an entertainer. The truth is, our greatest need was redemption, and God sent a Redeemer! God knew what we needed, and He sent the perfect Gift.
Third, the Gift of Jesus holds its value for all eternity. Jesus is the Gift that keeps on giving. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave . . .” (NIV) and gave and gave and gave—thousands of years later, the Gift of Jesus is still giving!
The Gift of Jesus never expires. There is no “use-by” date stamped on Jesus. He won’t go bad or spoil, and you won’t have to ever throw Him out. Neither does He ever go out of style. There is never a need to “update” Him or trade Him in for a newer model.
Some people like to give gift cards during the holiday season. But some companies have a policy that assesses penalties for non-use. In other words, if you don’t use the card within an allotted amount of time, the company begins to deduct money from the gift card and will keep doing so until the balance is zero.
Jesus never has a zero balance. He is the Gift that never expires, goes out of style, or becomes outdated or obsolete! Every generation needs a Redeemer. Every generation needs a Savior to lift them out of sin and into the righteousness of God. Jesus is one Gift that will never lose its value or worth.
Jesus is the perfect Gift! Even though we don’t deserve and could never earn this Gift, God freely gave Jesus to all who will receive Him. God’s love for us in Christ never fades, diminishes, or weakens. God’s love for us remains consistent and continually available.
Christmas is the season for giving gifts. And it’s no wonder that we give gifts to loved ones at this time, since Christmas is really the celebration of God’s Gift to those He loves—His perfect Gift of Jesus to you and me!
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