“Look Daddy! Every time a bell rings, an Angel gets his wings!” As adorable as this is from my favorite Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life, it’s not biblical. But what does the Bible say about angels?
Hebrews 1:14 says of angels, “are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?”
Although they are largely unseen by us, they exist in great numbers. the Bible speaks of “thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly” (Hebrews 12:22). When Jesus’ birth was announced to the shepherds outside Bethlehem, a great company of the heavenly host appeared – praising God (Luke 2:13).Billy Graham
“While the Bible leaves the precise number of angels unspecified, some believe there could be as many angels in existence as the total number of humans in all of history. This theory is based on Matthew 18:10: “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my Heavenly Father” (NLT). The passage seems to suggest that individual people, or at least children, have guardian angels to protect them. It’s possible, though that Jesus was speaking here only in general terms regarding the function of angels as protectors of children. In any case, Scripture is clear that angels do guard and protect human beings (see Psalm 34:7 91:11-12, Matthew 18:10, Acts 12:9-15) gotquestions.org
When Elisha’s servant went out and saw the Aramean army circling the city, he was frightened. Elisha responded to him, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” And the LORD opened the servant’s eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:16-17).
Psalm 91:11-12 says, “For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, that you do not strike your foot against a stone.”
Angels came to minister to Jesus after He had endured the temptation in Matthew 4:11. One of the most interesting things about angels is what Peter says in 1 Peter 1:12.
…in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things into which angels long to look.1 Peter 1:12 NASB
The phrase “long to look” has the idea of longing to “stoop down near or by something, bend forward or near in order to look at something more closely. Metaphorically, meaning to look into, find out, know (CWSB Dictionary).
The mysteries of the gospel, and the methods of man’s salvation, are so glorious that the blessed angels earnestly desire to look into them; they are curious, accurate, and industrious in prying into them; they consider the whole scheme of man’s redemption with deep attention and admiration, particularly the points the apostle had been discoursing of: Which things the angels desire to stoop down and look into, as the cherubim did continually towards the mercy seat.Matthew Henry
Not only do angels long to look into our salvation, they rejoice when someone is saved. Jesus said in Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Hebrews tells us that Jesus was made for a little while lower than the angels when He became a man and went to the cross for us. But in His essence He has always been greater than they because He is the Son of God (see Hebrews 1:1-14, 2:9). As awesome as angels are, we must remember that they are created beings and Christ is supreme over all (Colossians 1:15-18).
But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.Hebrews 2:9 NASB
Angels are not to be worshiped, instead, they exist to carry out God’s Word and worship Him! Revelation tells us they worship Him in mighty throngs.
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”Revelation 5:11-12 NKJV
I can only imagine the “holy hush” present in the room when Jesus was born. Here is the mighty King Jesus, the “darling of heaven,” the Sunrise from on high, lying in a manger. What a testimony of love to the angels as they looked on in amazement.
1 What do you learn about angels in Psalm 103:20?
2 Read Matthew 26:47-54. What could Jesus have called for help (see v 53). Why didn’t He?
3 Read 2 Thessalonians 1:7. How will Jesus one day be revealed?
4 Read Revelation 22:8-9. What did the Angel say when John tried to worship him?
5 Read Hebrews 1:1-14. How is Jesus compared to the angels?
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