“Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him” (THE MESSAGE Luke 2:13,14).
THE MESSAGE: Luke 2:8-32
In your Bible: Luke 2:8-32
God uses angels as messengers for the amazing events and to proclaim the appearance of Jesus the Christ – the Messiah. The Old Testament shows prophets foretelling Jesus’ coming. The New Testament reveals angels as messengers to guide people to the Messiah.
We’ve read the Christmas story, heard the songs, and know the key characters. I’d like to place special emphasis on how God announced Jesus’ arrival. The Christmas story gives insight into God’s own excitement about the greatest event in history.
The angel Gabriel visits the childless priest Zechariah to announce the coming of John (the Baptizer).
” I am Gabriel, the sentinel of God, sent especially to bring you this glad news. But because he won’t believe me, you’ll be unable to say a word until the day of his son’s birth. Every word I’ve spoken to Zachariah will come true on time – God’s time.” (The Message Luke 1:1-17,19,20). It wasn’t long after this Elizabeth, his wife, conceived.
The angel Gabriel visits Mary to tell her how God embraces her.
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name Mary.
Gabriel greated her. Of course she was thoroughly shaken by the angel’s visit and by the message. The angel assured her “Mary you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus”. Mary said to the angel, “But how? I have never slept with a man.” The angel answered, ” The Holy Spirit will come upon you, the power of the Highest hover over you” (THE MESSAGE Luke 1:28-35).
God’s angel spoke to Joseph in a dream to comfort him and explained his difficult situation.
“Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth and when she does you, Joseph, will name him Jesus – ‘God saves’ – because he will save people from their sins” (THE MESSAGE Matthew 1:20,21).
An Event for Everyone
An angel appeared to the sheepherders, then a huge angelic choir sang God’s praises.
Not only did an angel bring good news to the sheepherders. A magnificent group of angels couldn’t help but sing joyful praise to the Father for what was happening. Glory!
“There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set their night watches over the sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and said, “Don’t be afraid, I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody worldwide: A savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is the Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger. At once the choir of angel sang God’s praises Glory to God in the heavenly places, peace to all men and women on earth who please him” (THE MESSAGE Luke 2:8-14).
The sheepherders ran to find Mary, Joseph, and the new born baby. Then they told everyone what they’d heard from the angels and seen for themselves.
Application: For me, the importance of the angels struck a new note: they came at God’s appointed time, fear was the first reaction by the ones visited, but the message was one of blessing and definitely something to ponder. What new insights come to you in this season?
Prayer: Father, thank you for Jesus. This year, please teach me something anew from your Word.