Teachings of the Church fathers on Significance of the magi’s (Wise men) gifts to baby Jesus.

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Mathew 2:11 states, And when they came into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh. The wise men recognized that baby Jesus was no ordinary baby. This was King Jesus.

Gold is the most precious metal; King David said that God’s word is more precious and desirable. The word of God was made flesh and dwelt among us in the person of Jesus, as Christians we are called to give God a gift more precious than Gold. We are called to give God the gift of love because God is love.

Some of the church fathers that explained the significance of magi’s gifts to Jesus includes:

Saint Bede

In 735 AD, St. Bede identified the magi in a work called the Excerpta et Collectanea: the magi were the ones who gave gifts to the baby Jesus.

St. Bede most likely wrote this description on them: The Magi were the ones who gave gifts to the Lord. The first is said to have been Melchior, an old man with white hair and a long beard…Who offered gold to the Lord as a King. The second, Gasper by name, young and beardless and ruddy complexioned…honored Him as God by his gift of incense, an oblation worthy of divinity. The third, black-skinned and heavily bearded, named Balthazar…by his gift of myrrh testified to the Son of Man who was to die.

Saint Irenaeus

St.Irenaeus wrote that the gifts of the Magi were given to Christ for his offices associated with redemption. The gold was for Christ as King, the Frankincense as a symbol of His Deity and the myrrh burial ointment as a symbol of death for the suffering Redeemer. On the other level, St.Irenaeus said the gold signifies virtue; the frankincense, prayer; and the myrrh, suffering.

Origen

Church father Origen, wrote of the gifts: gold, as to a king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to a God.

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