December 21, 2016
Luke 2:9-11, 13, 14
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Luke 2:9 through 11, and verses 13 & 14 focus on the Angels of Christmas:
And, behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of
the Lord shone around the…[shepherds]….Then the angel said to them,
“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which
shall be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of Da-
vid a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” And suddenly there was with the
angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory
to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
The Scriptural record never says the Angels were among Those Who Stood At The Cradle. But since they were very much a part of this unfolding drama, we can assume the Angels were At The Cradle when Jesus was born! Let’s look at this miraculous event, and the part which the Angels played:
• The angel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias to announce the birth of John the Baptist (see Luke 1:11-20), the forerunner of the Messiah (see Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 3:1, 2).
• Gabriel also came to Mary to announce to her that she would be the mother of the long-awaited Messiah! (See Luke 1:26-38).
• Jesus was “…the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.” (Luke 2:21 – see Matthew 1:21, 25; Luke 1:31).
• “…an angel of the Lord appeared to…Joseph…in a dream, saying, ‘…do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:20). Although it does not say, this angel was probably Gabriel, for Gabriel is God’s messenger angel!
• Again, the angel delivering the message to the shepherds in our featured Scripture above, we can assume to be Gabriel.
After the most blessed event in all of history, angels played a part in the life and protection of the Child Jesus!
• The wise men were “…divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, [so] they departed for their own country another way.” (Luke 2:12). Although it does not say that an angel was involved, the usual way for God to communicate, in dreams or otherwise, was to send an angel to do His bidding – probably Gabriel!
• After the visit of the wise men, “…an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt…for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.’ ” (Matthew 2:13). Again, this could have been the messenger angel, Gabriel.
• Later, “…an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, ‘Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel.’ ” (Matthew 2:19, 20).
• Once in Israel, Joseph was “…warned by God in a dream, [and] he turned aside into…Galilee…and dwelt in a city called Nazareth….” (Matthew 2:22, 23).
Angels played a great part in the three-and-a-half year ministry of the Lord! (See Matthew 26:53; 28:2, 5; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:10, 22:43; 24:23; John 20:12).
Even at the end of the age, during the “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21), angels will be involved in the severe final judgments! (See Matthew 13:41; Revelation chapters 6, 8, 9, 11, 14, -16). And when Christ shall return as “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16), Jesus tell us in Matthew 16:27, “…the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels….”
So it would make perfect sense that Angels Stood At The Cradle!
Now, this is but a short end-note to this study, but think of just three of the ways angels interact with us as believers:
• They protect us as our guardian angels! (see II Kings 6:15-17; Psalm 91:11, 12; Acts 12:1-11).
• “Are…not [angels] all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who inherit salvation? ” (Hebrews 1:14).
• Luke 16:22 tells us that when “…the beggar Lazarus…died, [he] was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.” Abraham’s bosom was a Jewish term for paradise. We will be escorted to heaven by angels – to be welcomed by Jesus Christ Himself! (See Acts 7:55 – Jesus was standing to welcome Stephen home!)
Thank God for angels! It would be a protracted study to discover all that the Bible reveals about them!