“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.” *– Luke 2:9 NIV*
In his classic painting Mystic Nativity, completed circa 1500, Sandro Botticelli portrayed his vision of the scene at the birth of Jesus. Botticelli pictured angels hovering above Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus. He imagined them as winged creatures, filled with innocence.
Many people throughout the ages have had this same concept of angels. It’s been reproduced in songs, paintings, and poems, but the Bible gives us a different picture. These angels were powerful and awesome. Angels had the power to destroy entire armies (2 Kings 19:35) and could deliver judgment (Revelation 14:19).
We see angels outside Bethlehem telling shepherds about the birth of Jesus with dramatic and awe-inspiring impact. These men were stunned to witness “a great company of the heavenly host” (Luke 2:13) dedicated to praising and worshiping God and serving Him.
The shepherds learned that angels could be frightening. These weren’t the innocent creatures of Botticelli’s painting. The sight of these angels caused the shepherds to be “terrified.”
That night, these angels stressed a message of praise, saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (vs. 14).
This Christmas when you think about angels, remember the reaction of those shepherds. Think about how overwhelming it must have been for such awe-inspiring creatures to be united in praise to God. Join with the angels and give glory to God.
How well does your picture of heavenly messengers line up with the Bible?
Father, You are worthy to be praised! Thank You for sending Jesus to save me from my sins! I worship You and exalt You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Today’s Bible Reading
2 total views, 1 views today