Gifts Given and Received 2/19/2012Epiphany 2012
The Gospel according to Matthew is framed with the giving and receiving of gifts. In the ancient world, it was customary to bring gifts when appearing before a superior. If the gifts were received, the superior would reciprocate with a gift of his won in a display of his favor upon those appearing before him. Representative of the Gentiles, the wise men come to Jesus bearing gifts that acknowledge His identity as the God-Man who is the rightful King. At the end of Matthew, Jesus reciprocates by sending His Gospel of salvation to the Gentile nations of the earth in the great commission.