The world of angels

Angels are spirits, messengers and servants of God. They play a special role in four important events in Jesus' life, and Jesus referred to them on occasion as he taught about other subjects.

The gospels do not have the purpose of answering all our questions about angels. They only give us incidental information when angels enter the stage.

In the Gospel story, angels take the stage before Jesus. Gabriel appeared to Zacharias to announce that he would have a son - John the Baptist (Luke 1,11: 19). Gabriel also told Maria that she would have a son (Vv. 26-38). Joseph was told about it by an angel in a dream (Matthew 1,20: 24).

An angel announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds and a heavenly army praised God (Luke 2,9: 15). An angel appeared to Joseph again in a dream to tell him to flee to Egypt and then again when it was safe to return (Matthew 2,13.19).

Angels are mentioned again in the temptation of Jesus. Satan quoted a passage from the Bible about angelic protection and angels served Jesus after the temptation was over (Matthew 4,6.11). An angel helped Jesus in the Gethsemane garden during a severe temptation (Luke 22,43).

Angels also played an important role in the resurrection of Jesus, as the four Gospels tell us. An angel rolled the stone away and told the women that Jesus had risen (Matthew 28,2: 5). The women saw an angel or two inside the tomb (Mark 16,5; Luke 24,4.23; John 20,11).

Divine messengers pointed to the significance of the resurrection.

Jesus said that angels will also play an important role when he comes back. Angels will accompany him on his return and collect the chosen ones for salvation and the bad for destruction (Matthew 13,39: 49-24,31;).

Jesus could have called legions of angels, but he did not ask for them (Matthew 26,53). You will accompany him when he comes back. Angels will be involved in the judgment (Luke 12,8: 9). This is probably the time when people see the angels “going up and down over the Son of Man” (John 1,51).

Angels can appear as a person or with unusual glory (Luke 2,9; 24,4). They do not die and do not marry, which obviously means that they have no sexuality and do not reproduce (Luke 20,35: 36). People sometimes believe that unusual events are caused by angels (John 5,4: 12,29).

Jesus said "these little ones who believe in me" have angels in heaven who take care of them (Matthew 18,6.10). Angels are happy when people turn to God and angels bring the deceased righteous to paradise (Luke 15,10; 16,22).

Michael Morrison

pdfThe angelic world