Angels Tell of the Lord's Birth

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Angels play a big part in the stories of Christmas. The angel Gabriel brought good tidings to Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds. The angels were happy to help prepare people for the Lord’s birth. But their work was not finished at His advent. For just as the Lord was born in Bethlehem so long ago, He can be born in our hearts and minds—if we will receive Him. If we look to the Lord with humility and innocence as Mary did, with wonder and joy like the shepherds, with courage and faith like Joseph, then the angels can help us come to love the Lord above all things. Then we may join in the joyous refrain: “Glory to God in the highest!” and say with Mary, “My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior!”


In the weeks leading up to Christmas, read about the Christmas stories and focus on the messages delivered by the “Gabriel angels” to:

Zacharias—Luke 1:8-20
Mary—Luke 1: 26-38
Joseph—Matthew 1:18-25; 2:13-15, 19-21
The Shepherds—Luke 2: 8-20
The Wise Men—Matthew 2: 1-12 (The wise men were Divinely warned in a dream, but angels are not mentioned.)

Ideas for Discussion

  1. The angels in heaven and some people on earth knew that the Lord was going to come into the world, but they didn’t know when.
  2. Why did the Lord send angels to some people? (To let them know what was about to happen, so they could be prepared.)
  3. One group of angels called “Gabriel” was especially focused on the Lord’s advent, and they were called to serve as messengers. They loved sharing the glad tidings of the Lord’s coming.
  4. Who are the people who were visited by an angel to prepare them for the roles they would have in preparing the way for the Lord, caring for Him, or spreading the news of His birth? (Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men)
  5. An angel appeared to Zacharias in the temple (see Luke 1). What was he told? (That he and Elizabeth would have a baby and should name him John. This child would help prepare people to receive the Lord.)
  6. The angel Gabriel also appeared to Mary telling her that she would be the mother of the baby Lord through the miracle of the virgin birth (see Luke 1).
  7. The angel appeared to Joseph in a dream three different times (see Matthew 1,2). What did he tell Joseph? (First, he told Joseph that Mary’s baby was conceived of the Holy Spirit and should be named Jesus because He would save people from their sins. The second time, the angel warned Joseph to take Mary and the young Child to Egypt because Herod the King wanted to kill Him. The third time, the angel told Joseph it was safe to go back to the land of Israel.)
  8. The angel came to the shepherds and said, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:10). Then the angel called them to go to Bethlehem to witness the blessed event of the Lord’s birth.
  9. What warning did the wise men receive? (They were warned in a dream that they should not go back to Herod but return home another way (Matthew 2:12).
  10. Norman Reuter noted that the “angels could only appear to those who loved and believed in the Lord—those who still hoped and looked for His coming.” What does suggest about how our attitude influences our ability to hear what the Lord is saying in His Word?
  11. How can we cherish the glad tidings of the Lord’s coming? One way is by trying to focus on the true meaning of Christmas as we celebrate His birth with family and friends.

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