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Celebrate Jesus: Beheld by Angels
1 Tim. 3:16
And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness: He who was
revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Beheld by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.
John 20:12"and she beheld two angels in white sitting, one at the head,
and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying."
Angels are God's messengers their job is to talk. Yet in our text today,
two angels were speechless. Why?
They were not announcing His conception, they were sitting beholding
His great & mighty works.
They were not announcing His birth, they were sitting beholding His
great & mighty works.
They were not ministering to His needs, they were sitting beholding
His great & mighty works.
Angels are big business right now. Toy manufacturer's are cashing in
on angel mania. You can purchase Ty's Halo the Angel Bear Beanie Baby or
Russ Berrie & Co.'s Prayer Bear with Angel Wings or Mattel's "My Size
Angel Barbie Doll (African American)" for your children to play with.
Its not just kids that are crazy about angels; they are finding their
way into print too. This week I searched on Amazon.com's web site and discovered
2,588 books available with "angel" in the title.
CBS's hit T.V. series "Touched by an Angel" starring Roma Downey and
Della Reese draws millions of viewers each week. Why this fascination with
angels? Does everyone have a guardian angel? What are they, and what do
When I was still in high school I read Billy Graham's book, "Angels
God's Secret Agents." Ever since that time, I've thought of angels in those
terms. "God's secret agents."
This morning, let's study a few scriptures to help us separate Biblical
fact from Hollywood fiction. Here's what we know for sure. We know that:
Angels are agents of God's Providence
Matthew 18:10 teaches that angels watch over our children "See that
you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their
angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven."
Angelic beings that are in the very presence of God watch over our children.
I'm grateful that angels watch over our children, but I'm also glad
that they protect adults. Elisha and his servant were surrounded by the
King of Aram's army at Dothan. The servant cried out to Elisha in great
distress. Elisha wasn't concerned at all he claimed that the two of them
had the army right where they wanted them. Elisha knew something his servant
didn't. Listen as I read Elisha's prayer:
"O Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." And the Lord opened
the servant's eyes, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses
and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17)
After Jesus' temptation, the angels came and ministered to His needs
"Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister
to Him." (Matthew 4:11)
The Psalmist wrote, "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who
fear Him, And rescues them." (Psalms 34:7)
Yes, Angels are agents of God's providence, but there is more. They
Agents of God's Peace
Angels calm the anxious Do you remember who comforted the women who
came to anoint Jesus' body? "And the angel answered and said to the women,
"Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been
crucified.  "He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come,
see the place where He was lying." Matthew 28:5-6 NASB
The Apostle Paul also had an encouraging encounter with an angel. He
tells about it in Acts 27:23-25 "For this very night an angel of the God
to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me,  saying, 'Do not
be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted
you all those who are sailing with you.'  "Therefore, keep up your
courage, men, for I believe God, that it will turn out exactly as I have
Beyond their appearances to the women at the Empty Tomb and the Apostle
Paul, you'll remember that God sent angels to announce the conception of
Jesus to Joseph. "But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of
the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do
not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived
in her is of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:20) And it was the Angels that
brought some pretty good news to a group of shepherds. "And the angel said
to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great
joy which shall be for all the people;  for today in the city of David
there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)
Have you noticed in each of these four passages of scripture the Angels
begin by saying "Don't be afraid?" That may be because the angels startled
the people, but it might also be that, by their very nature, angels bring
God's peace to God's people.
Yes, angels are agents of God's providence and His peace, but they are
Agents of Praise
Sometimes, angels praise God with their voice. John, the beloved Apostle
gives a glimpse into heaven when he recorded a heavenly vision he had while
on the Isle of Patmos. "And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels
around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number
of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,  saying
with a loud voice, 'Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power
and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.' 
And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the
earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, 'To Him who
sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and
dominion forever and ever.'" (Revelations 5:11-13)
Other times, angels praise God with their ears. Angelic beings are spending
eternity praising God but did you know they are also audience to praise?
Luke 15:10 is a familiar text, but one that is often misunderstood. It
says, "In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the
angels of God over one sinner who repents." We often paraphrase this verse
by saying "the angels rejoice when a sinner repents," but notice what the
verse says. It says "there is joy in the presence of the angels of God
. . ." It is God Himself doing the rejoicing.
But still other times angels praise God with their eyes. Our series
text says that Jesus was "beheld by angels." Our sermon text, John 20:12
says, "and she beheld two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and
one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying." They were not
praising Jesus with their voices or their ears, they were speechless.
Some events are so awe inspiring that even the Angels are filled with
awe. It is a part of the "mystery of godliness." Jesus was "beheld by Angels."
A moment in time they couldn't rush through to go some place else. A
moment of "Holy Awe."
When you Worship God, are you left with that sense of "Holy Awe?"