Angel’s Ministry to Jesus -- Part 6
Hebrews 12:22 makes reference to an "innumerable company of angels."
In the Greek, this would mean "myriad," and it actually means tens of thousands.
So when we see the angelic host mentioned, it is talking about tens of thousands,
an innumerable company which is far greater than the mind of man could even grasp or count.
The Bible teaches that angels are spirits, but there are many instances in the Bible
where they have taken on visible bodies, or physical manifestations.
Our text in Matthew indicates that angels ministered to Jesus Christ.
We will look at the angelic ministry to Jesus Christ in three ways.
First, in preparation.
Then we will see it in provision.
In the third-place, we will see it in prophecy.
Remember that there were instances that took place prior to the coming of Christ
as the way was being prepared for His coming.
There was an aged priest named Zacharias which means, "the Lord remembers."
His wife was named Elizabeth, and that name means "God's oath."
One day Zacharias was burning incense in the Temple while all the people
stood outside praying.
As Zacharias officiated, an angel of the Lord appeared under him on the right side
of the altar and spoke.
The angel announced to this priest the coming of one who would be the forerunner
of the Messiah -- John the Baptist.
He stated this one would come as the son of this priest and his wife.
That same angel, Gabriel, next comes from the throne of God to a little city called Nazareth.
This incident is recorded in Luke 1:19 and verse 26.
This is the same angel that 600 years earlier was recorded in Daniel 9:24-27,
who announced when Christ would suffer.
The first word of the angel Gabriel to Zacharias was, "Fear not."
The first word of this angel to marry, the Virgin, was "Hail."
That word literally means, "Oh, joy."
When Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to this Child,
he said at the very outset, "Oh, joy!"
This was an expression of the feeling and the emotion of Gabriel for he had known
for many millennials that this great and glorious day would come.
Now he had the incomparable privilege of preparing the way through making
the announcement to Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus Christ.
Angels were witnesses to the creative act of God when He made the first man, Adam,
out of the dust of the earth.
The angels saw God as He created Adam.
In the first man, Adam, all sinned, and all die.
In the second Man, Jesus Christ, and all who put their faith and trust in Him
are made alive forevermore.
Angels witnessed the whole broad scope of the creative power of God
and His consummate acts of power in bringing forth man's escape from sin
and the penalty thereof.
Jesus Christ was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit,
and as a result of His birth, all of those who would die in Adam have the opportunity
to be made alive forevermore in Jesus Christ.
Then God's holy angel, having appeared unto Zacharias and Mary, next appeared unto Joseph.
Joseph was a righteous, tender hearted man.
This is found in Matthew 1:19 and following.
He was unwilling to embarrass Mary by breaking their engagement.
The angel appeared to Joseph and said, "Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife."
He obeyed the command of the angel.
Then that momentous occasion happened.
The Child of prophecy came.
All heaven was excited, for they knew what was taking place.
They had looked forward with great anticipation to the moment when God would reveal
Himself in human form and open the gates of glory to all who would enter through faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ.
People were ignorant of this event occurring, so an angel of the Lord appeared
to shepherds watching their sheep.
The glorious message to them was: "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings
of great joy which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you…"
When the shepherds looked up, this one angel who initially appeared was joined
by many, many others.
In fact there were so many that they were called a vast host, a multitude of angels,
all of whom were praising God.
The angels had waited for this glorious event all through the many thousands of years
since their creation by the hand of God.
God gave the angels the glorious privilege of sharing in the preparation
for the coming of the Redeemer.
So we see this angelic ministry in preparation for the coming of Christ.
Then, we will notice the ministry of the angels in their provision for Jesus Christ.
In Matthew 2:13 the angels who overshadow Jesus Christ, the baby, warned Joseph
to flee from the wrath of Herod into Egypt, and the angels directed their flight to safety.
Remember, we have seen that the ministry of angels is physical.
They were overseeing their physical safety and supplying the physical needs of Jesus Christ.
I also believe that that is their ministry to you and me today.
Then we look at another provision of the angels for Jesus that comes
at the time of our text in Matthew.
Just after our Lord had embarked on His earthly ministry, He was led up into the wilderness
by the Spirit to be tempted of the Devil.
He went forty days and forty nights fasting and praying and resisting the onslaughts of hell.
When it was over, the Devil left Him for a season.
We must keep in mind that the Devil didn't leave Him for good.
The Devil just left Him for a season.
When he did, the angels came and minister to His depleted physical resources.
In Luke 22:43, Jesus is in the garden of Gethsemane.
His soul is in such travail that His blood is being squeezed out of Him in the form of perspiration.
An angel came and made available to Jesus Christ the resources of heaven
in His hour of physical distress.
While hanging on the cross at Calvary, legions of angels stood ready to be dispatched
at an instant's notice, so we see that angels were witnesses to the most horrible death
ever perpetrated by human beings.
When Christ was crucified on Calvary, all of the vast hosts of angels,
that innumerable company, stood helplessly and watched Jesus die.
Jesus said He could have called legions of angels to come to His rescue.
They could have obliterated all of His enemies.
Just as the death angel in the Old Testament came and slew the firstborn,
so the angel of God in vengeance and wrath could have obliterated all the enemies
of Jesus Christ from the face of the earth.
But Jesus never called for them.
He could have called ten thousand angels, but He didn't.
They could not come because they were not called, and if they had come
God's plan of redemption would never have been complete.
Then, the angels saw the body of Jesus Christ placed in the tomb,
and an angel was present to announce the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
and rolled away the stone on the door of the tomb. (Matthew 28:2,3)
And in Acts 1:10-11, angels gave a message to the disciples at the moment
of the ascension of Christ into heaven.
When He left the Mount of Ascension, which is close by the Mount of Olives,
angels appeared and spoke to the men of Galilee reminding them:
"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?
This same Jesus… shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
Here the angels encouraged those discouraged apostles who had seen Jesus Christ
disappear into nothingness from their view.
The angels reminded them that they had a mission to do,
and that the Christ who was here is coming back.
So we have seen some of the provisions for Jesus Christ,
and now, we will look at ministry of angels in prophecy.
In Matthew 25:31 we read: "When the Son of man shall come in his glory,
and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory."
So, when Jesus returns it will be with the accompliment of all the hosts of heaven.
All the holy angels will be with Him.
Then look again at Matthew 13:41-42 where you read that at the time of the second coming:
"The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom
all things that offend, and them which do iniquities;
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
When you look back to verse 30 in that same chapter, Jesus is saying:
"Let both [that is, the tares and the wheat, the good and the bad] grow together
until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers,
"Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them:
but gather the wheat into my barn."
Many have asked why doesn't God stop war and eliminate prejudice.
I've also known people who wonder why God permits any evil in our world.
The answer is in this text.
Jesus said, "Let both grow together," the evil and the good.
We should thank God that he doesn't remove all evil from the world
because if He did, He would have to remove you and me also.
Thank God that He is going to let it all grow together, and then all who do know Him
will be gathered as wheat into His barn.
The angels are the ones who do the gathering.
This truth is also seen in Matthew 24:31: "And he shall send his angels with a great sound
of the trumpet, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds,
from one end of heaven to the other."
The only time that angels did not minister to Jesus was when He was on the cross.
He suffered alone for our sins.
He could have called down the wrath of heaven upon His enemies, but for our sakes He didn't.
Ultimately, angels are seen in their eternal relationship with that city
which comes down out of heaven from God, described in Revelation 21:9 and following.