The greatest gift from the Magi was, and still is, the gift of hope. Whether you wish to believe the story or not, undeniably the story of the birth of Jesus Christ and the Magi has done more to influence history than any other singular event.
This is the pivotal point in history not only for mankind, but for art itself. During this time, only the higher classes where literate and most of the known world remained illiterate. If the story were to be told and spread throughout the land, it would have to be done both orally and through art. Historically there is more art done of this one moment in time than any other scene in our known history.
Ironically, the gospel of Mathew never mentions who the Wise Men are, where they are from or how many of them there were. As stated in Chapter 2, verse 1- “behold, there came Wise Men from the east to Jerusalem.” Verse 9 says- “And when they came into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts: gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”
In order to prove the greatness of this singular moment in time, the Magi became synonymous with the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the significance behind the gifts they gave which pivoted Jesus on toward time immortal. Gold signified the Kingdom of God. Frankincense signified the priesthood for it represented the kingdom of God to ancient people who burned it believing it carried their prayers up to heaven. Myrrh signified that he was born to die for the world for it was Myrrh which was used at temple to anoint and embalm those into the Kingdom of God. Myrrh also was also an integral part of the embalming process used by the Egyptians.
Up to this point in history, the world was ruled by power, might and greed which crushed the common man. For the first time, the old order was challenged by the proclamation of a new king having been born of lowly birth and the world now had a choice between a God of power or one of justice.
Jesus’ revolutionary ministry is but a continuation of the Christmas story. The significance of his birth in the manger can be understood only by recognizing his sacrifice on the cross. Still it is Jesus’ resurrection on the cross that marked the ultimate fulfillment of God’s plan.
There are many conflicting stories surrounding the birth and death of Jesus Christ and the Magi but ultimately and undeniably the fact remains, whatever your beliefs are, the story of the life and times of Jesus Christ has done more to influence the world of art, science, politics, economics, self and society than any other one thing.
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