Summary: God uses his faithful messengers, both throught their presence and their message, to assure that message sent is message received.
God’s Faithful Messengers
Luke 1:26-38, 2:8-14
"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Wow! How many times do we communicate like that? Far too often I imagine.
I’m currently doing premarital counseling for four couples and one of the topics that we spend quite a bit of time on is communication. There’s probably not much better use of our time than discussing how to make sure that when one spouse says something that the message sent equals message received.
That “formula” is important not only for spouses in a marriage but for each of us in all of our relationships. The best way to avoid miscommunication and the conflict that inevitably follows it? “Message sent = Message received.”
Here’s an interesting fact that a study revealed several years ago but I imagine still holds true today: 7% of the impact of a speaker’s message comes through his words, 38% springs from the speaker’s tone of voice, and 55% from non-verbals. If this is true, that only 7% of what we say is communicated through the actual words we use, then there is a lot of room for miscommunication!
God understands that. After all, he created communication. The Bible tells us he communicates to us in two primary ways: general revelation and specific revelation. General revelation refers to the way God reveals himself to us through creation itself. Psalm 19:1 says that
“The heavens declare the Glory of God. The skies proclaim the works of his hands.”
Specific revelation refers to God speaking to us through His Word, the Bible. And we believe that while all Scripture is not equally clear—there are some difficult passages and some mysteries—all that God intends for us to know in order for us to be saved is easily understood.
When God speaks his word is clear. And that is why he uses faithful messengers. We’re going to look at God’s faithful messengers, his angels, in Luke this morning and particularly the angels that appeared around the birth of our Savior.
We are going to do this because it is clear that God uses faithful messengers, through their presence and their message, to make sure the message sent of good news to those who need to hear it was received.
First, I want us to note…
I. The angels’ presence
A. The angels had such a great presence at Jesus’ birth because it was a great occasion in history.
There is no other event in history in which God’s messengers are so prevalent. Throughout the Old Testament we see angels of the Lord appear at various times to various individuals but never so many to one person and rarely in Scripture does a host appear
God used his messengers in significant ministry connected to the birth of Christ, in both its prediction and its announcement. The angel Gabriel, who told Zacharias that he would have a son, comes to predict the Savior’s birth and to inform Mary of her cousin Elizabeth’s pregnancy in Luke 1:26-33. An angel of the Lord accompanied by a large host comes to announce Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:8-14.
B. They had a presence there because they were sent there
Psalm 103:20 describes angels as
“you mighty ones who does His bidding, who obey his word.”
Those angels were there because they were under direct orders to be there. They were sent by God as His emissaries, carrying His message, conveying His presence.
When we understand someone to be an ambassador representing a particular nation we understand that person to not only represent their home nation but to speak on behalf of the leader of that nation. In other words, they are the presence of that leader in that foreign land.
That is what angels, God’s messengers, God’s ambassadors are. They are God’s presence at the greatest event in human history.
And here is what is so key:
C. They were present to make the message clear.
What was that message? Well that brings us to the second point:
II. The angels’ message
What was the message the angels brought? The message was the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The word in Luke 2:10 which reads ‘bearers of’ or ‘bringing good news’in the Greek is ‘euangellion.’ Our modern day derivative from that word is ‘evangelism’ and it bears the same meaning: ‘bringing good news.’
If you look right in the middle of that word ‘evangelism’—e-v-a-n-g-e-l-i-s-m—what word do you see? Angel! God’s faithful messengers!
Now I want to spend a little bit of time this morning looking with you at this message and the messengers because they have quite a significant history and because the two, message and messenger are intricately tied together. Where you have a message you have a messenger.