“Bigger then Bethlehem” - “The Ministry of Angels in the Birth of Christ” - Part 2
The angel appeared to Joseph (Matthew 1:20)
When Joseph discovered that Mary, to whom he was engaged, was pregnant, he decided to break off the engagement and put her away quietly. But one night in a dream, the angel appeared to him and explained the entire scenario. Matthew provides the insight,
“As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit.”
The Shepherds received Angelic visitation (Luke 2:8-14)
The angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds and made the announcement of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Saviour yes, the Messiah, the Lord has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
The angel clarified the identification of the child. The shepherds would recognize the child by a particular sign. The baby would be wrapped in swaddling clothes. One writer posits the idea that only when a baby is born dead will the parents wrap the child in that manner.
In this case, the wrapping is prophetic. It speaks of the ultimate purpose of this child on the earth. He is destined to die for the sins of the world. He paid the penalty for the sins of the world, in Him alone, we have redemption. Immediately after the announcement, a huge host of angels joined in to worship the Messiah. Jesus made His entrance into the world with a lavish display of pomp and splendor by the heavenly host.
The Angel appeared to Joseph a second time (Matthew 2:13) after the birth of Jesus
“After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
The enemy was constantly after the life of Jesus. Several efforts were made to kill Him, but God protected Him from all danger through His angels in it all. In this case, His father, Joseph was instructed to go to Egypt with the child and His mother and to stay there until further instruction. By this time, Jesus was about two years of age. It is no different with the believers today in terms of angelic protection. The angel of the Lord encamps around them that fear him and he delivers them. (Psalms 34:7-9)
The angel appeared to Joseph a third time (Matthew 2:19-20)
It is not very clear from the scriptural account as to how long they were in Egypt. By this time, Joseph had learnt to live by faith and trust in the Lord for daily protection. There were deep expectations in his heart, perhaps on a daily basis, to hear from the Lord through the angel. He was probably now very familiar with the angel and anxiously awaiting word from him regarding his movement. At the right time, the angel again visited him with instruction to return to Israel with the child and His mother. Matthew explains how this instruction went. “When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt. “Get up!” the angel said. “Take the child and his mother back to the land of Israel, because those who were trying to kill the child are dead.”
The angels were with Him throughout His earthly life. They ministered to Him in several ways while He was on the earth. No matter what may be the circumstances of our life now. Be encouraged and be strengthened. The Lord is always our protector. Even though we do not see our angels, those that were allocated to us by God, yet we can be assured of His divine protection.
Paul Mursalin is a member of the International Board of Barnabas Fund from Guyana
LUMO Photo taken from FreeBibleimages.org
For Other Articles by Paul Mursalin
“Bigger then Bethlehem” - “The Ministry of Angels in the Birth of Christ” - Part 1