Summary: If you had been Gabriel and given the mission of telling Mary she would be the mother of Jesus, what would you have been thinking? We look at Gabriel's history, his most important assignment, and why he trembled to tell her what God wanted!
“IF YOU HAD BEEN GABRIEL…”
A. HUMOR: CHRISTMAS HUMOR
1. Tim: Did you know Santa had only eight reindeer last Christmas? Jim: Huh? Tim: Comet stayed home to clean the sink
2. Moe: What are you going to give your little brother for Christmas this year? Joe: I haven’t decided yet. Moe: What did you give him last year? Joe: The measles.
3. Darth Vader: I know what you’re getting for Christmas. Luke: How do you know? Darth Vader: I can feel your presents
4. Trey: What do you get when you cross a snowman and a dog? Brandon: I give up. Trey: Frostbite.
B. ANGELS & CHRISTMAS
1. The Bible is very clear that angels exist; it contains 294 references to Angels.
2. SOME EXAMPLES:
a. Abraham was stopped from slaying his son Isaac when an Angel called to him from heaven.
b. The Pillar of Fire which stood between the Egyptian Army and the Israelites, when crossing the Red Sea, was an Angel.
c. An Angel stopped Balaam from prophesying against Israel; an angel called Gideon, fed Elijah, put 185,000 Assyrians to death, and shut the lion's mouth from eating Daniel!
3. Around the first Christmas there was a flurry of angelic activity. They appeared to all sorts of people. But there was one special visit I want us to look at tonight;
4. When Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary. Only 2 angels are specifically named in the Bible: Michael, the guardian angel of Israel (archangel); and Gabriel, the messenger angel of God.
5. Tonight I want us to imagine that if we were Gabriel, & given the assignment of telling Mary she would be the mother of Jesus, the Christ, what would you have been thinking, “If You Had Been Gabriel…”?
I. GABRIEL IN ETERNITY PAST
A. WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT ANGELS
1. From the Beginning there was the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But at some point, before time began, God decided to create.
2. Probably the first thing created were the different spheres of existence – the spiritual realm, the physical domain – and time.
3. Psalms 148:2-5 lists the angels as part of God’s creation. Jesus the Son of God, created all things, including the angels (John 1:3). He created all the “visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers or authorities” Col. 1:16; Eph. 6:12.
5. NOT EXALTED HUMANS. Angels are not glorified human beings: we will be “like the angels” (Mt. 22:30) who do not marry. Angels in heaven are distinguished from the “spirits of righteous men made perfect” Heb. 12:22ff.
6. FACTS ABOUT ANGELS:
a. THE ARE INCORPOREAL (have no certain form) – likened to ‘winds’ or fire (Heb. 1:7, 14; Ps. 104:4; Judges 13:40).
b. THEY ARE A COMPANY, NOT A RACE. They have the same # today as when first created. They don’t propagate (Lk. 20:34-35).
c. THEY ARE WISER THAN HUMANS (2 Sam 14:20).
d. THEY ARE NUMEROUS. 100,000,000? Dan. 7:10, Heb. 12:22 (innumerable).
e. THEY ARE POWERFUL. “Mighty angels” 2 Thess. 1:7, 2 Kgs. 19:35.
f. THEY AREN’T OMNIPRESENT. They move from place to place (Job 1:7), their movement takes time & may be delayed (Dan. 10:10-14).
7. REBELLION AGAINST GOD. It’s thought to have happened after the creation began but before the fall of Adam & Eve. Lucifer (Isa. 14:12), a guardian cherub (Ezek. 28:14, 16), led 1/3 of the angels in revolt against God. However, 2/3 stayed loyal. So there’s twice as many good angels as bad ones!
B. THE HISTORY OF GABRIEL
1. Gabriel had been there, as God spun the galaxies out nothing and set them in place. He recognized God’s illimitable power. When Lucifer deceived some of the angels, Gabriel never entertained one thought he tried to convey, but immediately silenced him.
2. Gabriel (whose name means “God is my strength”) is a special messenger angel of God. At his very presence, Daniel was “terrified and fell prostrate" (8:17) and even afterward was tired and sick for days after the encounter (8:27). He later appeared to Daniel again to reveal the meaning of his dreams (9:20-27).
3. Just before the time of Jesus, Gabriel was again sent to speak to John the Baptist’s father before the boy was born. Gabriel told Zechariah that his son would be a Nazarite who would go before the Messiah to prepare His way.
4. When Zechariah doubted his wife could bear a child, Gabriel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words….” Lk. 1:19-20.