Healing Line

Healing Line

An Excerpt from Encountering Angels

by Judith MacNutt
Winter 2015/16

  And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him.” In speaking of the angels, he says, "He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire." — Hebrews 1:6–7  

The archangel Gabriel was entrusted with the greatest message of all time, given to a young virgin named Mary in the small village of Nazareth in Galilee. This message would radically change the course of human history.

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel went to her and said,

  "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; his kingdom will never end." — Luke 1:26–33  

When Jesus was conceived, He became God Incarnate. The second Person of the Trinity became flesh in Mary's womb, miraculously conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the Incarnation the divine nature of the Son (while remaining God) was seen as being united with human nature in one divine person. From the time of His conception, Jesus was both fully man and fully God. His birth by a virgin is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies about the salvation of the world. Emmanuel: God with us!

When I reread the familiar account of Jesus' birth, I am struck by the way the sovereign hand of God orchestrated each event to provide safety for His Son. God's plan would not be altered by the Law, by the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus, nor by Satan, the evil one. At that moment in history the entire angelic realm must have been on high alert. Every movement, every threat was monitored by the angels' watchful protection. Warring angels under assignment from the archangel Michael battled the demonic forces attempting to threaten the life of the unborn Jesus.

When Jesus was born, it was an angel of God who proclaimed the glorious good news. God chose lowly shepherds, tending their sheep in the fields near Bethlehem, to hear the most magnificent, triumphant announcement of all times: the Savior of the world had been born! These uneducated, simple shepherds received the message that would forever after change human destiny. The shepherds were terrified as the glory of God filled the skies. But the angel reassured them and said,

  "I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." — Luke 2:10–12  

Before the shepherds could even react, the entire blackened sky split open with the brilliant, blinding light of heaven. Then the voice of the angel was multiplied a thousand times over.

As their eyes focused, the shepherds realized the dazzling light was the brilliance of the shining angels who filled the entire sky, thousands upon thousands praising God, unable to contain their overwhelming joy!

Luke describes it:

  "Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to [those] on whom his favor rests.'" — Luke 2:13–14  

I hope you enjoyed this short excerpt from my new book, Encountering Angels. The birth of Jesus remains the greatest gift of love of all time. May you and yours experience the same joy and wonder that the angels proclaimed on that first Christmas.

Written by Judith MacNutt, excerpt taken from Encountering Angels, copyright 2016, with written permission from Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group (http://www.bakerpublishinggroup.com).

Judith MacNutt Judith MacNutt is author, teacher, conference speaker and co–founder of CHM. Winter 2015/16 Issue