Summary: How angels interfaced with the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We’re going to be talking about “The Lord of Angels.” As you know, this month we’re talking about angels, God’s secret agents, His supernatural helpers, who are sent to assist us and to deliver messages. Today as we talk about, “The Lord of Angels,” our attention is going to be firmly on the Lord Jesus Christ. Although our theme today is angels, our topic and our focus is the Lord Jesus Christ as it always should be. Now, there is a fascination about angels and we have discovered it this month as I began preaching on it. I have been receiving so many of these accounts from people who said they believe they have had an encounter with angels. The stories are just amazing! I will share several with you this morning, but through it all I want to remind you our goal and our task is to keep our eyes firmly focused on the Lord Jesus Christ who has provided us these angelic helpers.
When you think about angels, I hope that you will only look at angels in your spiritual peripheral vision. You know when you look at a star at night sometimes when you look right at that star, you cannot see it but when you look to the side in your peripheral vision, you pick up that star. Our focus should be looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. But, even as we conclude this series and may not say much ever again about angels, I want you to be aware in your peripheral vision of the presence of God’s ministering spirits. Today, this message is going to go all throughout the New Testament. We’re going all the way through the gospel according to Matthew and we’ll end up in the book of Revelation, because I want you to see how angels interfaced with the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. ANGELS ANNOUNCED JESUS’ BIRTH
There are eight points of contact. The first thing we notice is that angels announced His birth.
Matthew 1:18-21. “This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’”
As you study the scriptures, you’ll find angels have an interesting ministry in announcing the births of babies. The first time we encounter angels in the Bible is in the book of Genesis, where an angel appears to Hagar and informs her she is going to give birth. Of course, you know angels came to Abraham and Sarah and told them they were going to have a baby. It was an angel who appeared to Manoah, the father of Samson, and told him and his wife they would give birth to a son and this angel even prescribed a diet Samson’s mother to eat during her pregnancy. I call one of the angels “a gourmet angel.” It could be some of these angels are obstetric angels, because they are so interested in the birth of babies. Of course, an angel appeared to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, to announce John’s birth. Here in the most familiar birth announcement, angels come to Mary and to Joseph and announce Jesus Christ is going to be born. If we took the time to read in Luke, you know the angel Gabriel, told Mary, “You’re going to give birth to a son and you’ll call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.” Mary said, “The only problem with that is, angel, I am a virgin. I have never known a man. How can I do that?” To make a long story short the angel said, “With God nothing is impossible.” By the way, that’s one of my favorite Bible promises “With God nothing is impossible.”
You know if you went to my home in my study and you took my dictionary off the shelf and you tried to look up the word, “impossible” you wouldn’t find it. You know why? Because several years ago I took an X-Acto knife and I cut the word impossible out of my dictionary. I just don’t believe in it. And by the way, I don’t know what the implications are, because the word, “implication” was on the other side of the page. Basically, it means that with God there is nothing He cannot accomplish. Now, Joseph had several options when he discovered his espoused wife, Mary, was pregnant. The Talmud said he had the option of having her publicly shamed. He had the option of having her publicly stoned. That’s why they brought the woman caught in adultery to the Lord Jesus and said, “The law says stone her.” Joseph could have demanded she be stoned. But, the Bible said Joseph decided he would do neither. He would just put her away quietly but the angel came and said, “No, listen. This is all part of God’s plan. She’s going to give birth to a son, Jesus.”