Friday, December 17, 2021

The Christmas Angels' Purpose


BySarah Geringer 

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”  Luke 2:10 NIV

How you would react if an angel suddenly appeared before you?  People in the first Christmas story reacted with fear at the sight of angels. Perhaps we would as well.

In the first two chapters of Luke, angels appear three times. Each time they include the words “Do not fear” in their greeting, anticipating that their arrival would ignite fear in the hearts of humans.  Zechariah “was startled and was gripped with fear” (1:12).  Mary “was greatly troubled” (1:29).  The shepherds were “terrified” (2:9).

The angels did not come to inspire fear or even awe. Their journey to earth was a special mission from God. Gabriel stated his purpose to Zechariah in Luke 1:19, “I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.” Gabriel’s focused mission was to announce God’s plan of good news to both Zechariah and Mary.

The angel who appeared to the shepherds also brought good news (Luke 2:10). The angel gave the shepherds instructions on how to locate baby Jesus.  Then the angel was joined by many others who praised God before returning to heaven. All the angels who appear in the Christmas story give glory to God, and do not seek it for themselves.

The sight of angels frightened people, but the sight of two miracle babies inspired joy and wonder at God’s surprising plan. A mighty prophet born of an old, barren couple. A Savior for the whole world, born of a virgin, swaddled and lying in a manger. As Gabriel said, “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37)

The shepherds were inspired by the angel’s message and hurried to find the baby.  Afterward, they spread the good news, and all who heard them were amazed.  The shepherds returned to their work, glorifying and praising God (Luke 2:20). The angels fulfilled their mission of pointing people back to God.  That’s the purpose of Christmas angels.

Questions for you to consider:

  • How does our culture view angels?
  • What is your view on angels?
  • What do you think God wants you to know about angels from his Word?


Seeking greater peace in the busy Christmas season? Check out the Advent-themed episodes of my podcast, Finding Peace in God's Word, HERE.

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  1. I would certainly be awestruck if an angel appeared before me. I think it would take me a little bit to come to grips.


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