Devotional

Angelic Messengers at Christmas

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest of care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow… Even angels long to look into these things. I Peter 1:10, 11, 12b NIV

God put His plan for mankind’s salvation into action. Our Savior was leaving heaven to live among mankind! God’s messengers were involved during the preparation for the arrival of Jesus, and into His early childhood. The apostle Peter wrote that angels long to look into these things. Imagine what the angels thought of everything that was happening around the time of the Messiah’s birth.

Gabriel, an angel of the Lord, appeared to Zacharias.

“Do not be afraid , Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you shall have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” Gabriel goes on to tell that John’s roll would be “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:11-20 NKJV

Gabriel also appeared to Mary. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; so the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:30-32, 35 NIV

After Joseph considered putting Mary away secretly because she was pregnant with a child who was not his own, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream. The angel told Joseph that Mary’s child was conceived from the Holy Spirit and to take her as his wife. Matthew 1:18-25. God knew Joseph needed the assurance that this was His plan.

Can anyone who has seen a Christmas pageant forget the announcement of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds?

Photo by Monstera on Pexels.com
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you; You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”  Luke 2:9-14 NIV 

The Wise Men went to King Herod seeking “He who has been born King of the Jews.” Learning the prophecy said the King would be born in Bethlehem, they left Jerusalem and again saw the star which led them to the Child Jesus. They worshipped Him and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  The Magi were divinely warned in a dream not to return to Herod and returned to their own country another way. Matthew 2:1-12

Joseph had additional visits from angels in his dreams. He was warned to flee to Egypt with Jesus and Mary because Herod sought to destroy the Child (Matthew 2:13-14). He was later told to return to Israel after Herod died, and then warned not to settle in Judea where Herod’s son Archelaus reigned, so Joseph settled in Galilee in Nazareth, fulfilling the prophecy that Christ “will be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:19, 21-23)

The angels might not have understood how God could love us so much to send Jesus to be our Savior, but the messengers from God were obedient to the Lord’s specific instructions.

Let’s reflect on Jesus coming to earth. Let’s be quick to obey what God tells us to do.

Heavenly Father, Thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus! Help me to not be afraid, but to trust and obey You as Mary and Joseph did when you sent your messengers to them.

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