Yes, Mary and Joseph were quite poor, even by the standards of their day. For example, when they brought Jesus into the Temple in Jerusalem to dedicate Him according to the ancient Jewish Law, they could only afford two doves for their sacrifice—the amount allowed only for the poor (see Leviticus 12:8).
But when the wise men found Jesus, their gifts to Him must have almost overwhelmed Mary and Joseph—gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh (a rare ointment or spice). What did they do with them? The Bible doesn’t say— but immediately after the wise men leave, King Herod became filled with jealousy and fear, wondering if the child the wise men were seeking might turn out to be a rival who would take over his throne.
As a result, King Herod ordered every small child in Bethlehem to be killed, hoping therefore to put an end to this threat to his power. But God protected Jesus, warning Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt that very night. God told him, “Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him” (Matthew 2:13). Without the wise men’s gifts, they would not have been able to survive in safety.
What gifts will you bring to Jesus this Christmas? Will others be blessed by your generosity? Most of all, may you give Him the gift of your life—this Christmas, and always. Never forget the Bible’s words: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).