Summary: Angels play a significant role in the N.T., particularly surrounding the events of the birth of Jesus. There were 4 major appearances of angels: with Zachariah, Mary, Joseph, and the Shepherds.
TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL
Matt. 1-2; Lk. 1-2
1. A man built a new home. One day as he was looking at the outside of it, an apparition appeared and was visible for a full minute. One year later, it appeared again at exactly the same time, but his friends thought he was just imagining it.
2. So on that day a year later, he had the local paper send out a photographer to take a picture, so there would be no more doubt about it.
3. The big moment arrived and, right on time, the apparition appeared. However, the photographer had something wrong with his electrical hookups and the picture wasn't good.
4. This all goes to prove the old adage that says, "The spirit was willing but the flash was weak."
B. TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL TV SERIES
1. Touched by an Angel is an American supernatural drama series that ran from 1994-2003, for 211 episodes and nine seasons. The series stars Roma Downey, as an angel named Monica, and Della Reese, as her supervisor Tess.
2. Throughout the series, Monica is tasked with bringing guidance and messages from God to various people who are at a crossroads in their lives
3. Tonight I want to look at what the Bible says about angels, especially connected with the birth of Jesus.
C. UNBELIEF CONCERNING ANGELS
1. Some scientists and modernists scoff at the idea that there’s anything beyond the physical universe.
2. Like the Sadducees of old, they say, "there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit" (Acts 23:8).
3. Some would say that God used to do things like that, but does He still do them today?
D. THE BIBLE & ANGELS
1. The Bible, from Genesis to Revelations, confirms the reality and ministry of Angels. The Bible has 294 references to Angels, 182 of which are in the N.T.
2. Angels play a significant role in the N.T., particularly surrounding the events of the birth of Jesus.
3. There were 4 Major Appearances
a. To John the Baptist’s father Zacharias in the Temple.
b. Next to Mary the mother of Jesus.
c. Next was a scattering of appearance to Joseph, Mary’s husband, in dreams.
d. Inserted into Joseph’s series is the appearance to shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth. Let’s look at them.
I. APPEARANCE TO ZACHARIAH
12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, 18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” 19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God….20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words….” Lk. 1:11-20
1. ANNOUNCE. The word “angel” in Hebrew & Greek both mean “messenger.” Angels are often sent to speak for God to humans. In addition to telling Zachariah that he would have a son, Gabriel gave the specific name for the child – John.
2. FORETELL. Another function of angels is to prophesy for God (Gen. 22:16-18; 2 Kgs 1:3-4). Here the angel describes John the Baptist’s ministry as forerunner for Christ and the spirit in which he will operate.
3. EXECUTE JUDGMENT. Zachariah’s unbelief brought a judgment where he couldn’t speak. Angels have been known to bring plagues (Ps. 78:49; 2 Kgs. 19:35, etc)
II. APPEARANCE TO MARY
26 God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph….name Mary. 28 “Greetings, you who are highly favored! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 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, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on 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. 38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Luke 1:26-38.