11 And when they were come 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.
What was it that the unknown number of wise men brought Baby Jesus? Seems a bit random, if you ask me. What would a baby do with gold? And what on Earth are those other two things? If I didn’t know better, I’d think there some kind of symbolism there.
You know where this is going.
30 And it came to pass, when he saw the earring and bracelets upon his sister’s hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, Thus spake the man unto me; that he came unto the man; and, behold, he stood by the camels at the well.
It’s traditional to give gold in some form when you become engaged. In modern times, it’s now usually a diamond ring, but in the past the groom-to-be would give his bride-to-be a gold ring or bracelet. When Rebekah’s brother saw the gold earring and bracelets, he knew she was engaged to be married.
What about frankincense and myrrh?
13 A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; he shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.
It’s a little known tradition that frankincense and myrrh are used in weddings, especially in olden times. The groom-to-be would smell of it, and everyone would know he’s engaged.
But what do these have to do with Baby Jesus?
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
The Church is the Bride of Christ. So what now looks like inappropriate gifts for a baby turns out to actually be symbolic.