January 16, 2012
“And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God
unto a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin … Mary.”
Luke 1:26, 27
The intergalactic messenger, Gabriel, made several trips to earth. His abode was the presence of God (Luke 1:19). There are at least four occasions when we are told that he traversed the expanse from the divine presence to earth; four times when he came to visit mankind with messages from the Throne.
In Daniel 8, He is sent to reveal to Daniel the truth of the prophecy of that chapter. The scene was in Shushan the palace. The vision of the ram and the he goat and the mighty confrontation were fresh in Daniel’s mind and he sought the meaning. As a result, Gabriel was sent to “make the man to understand the vision.” (Dan 8:16).
In Daniel 9, Daniel is found living under the reign of Darius the Mede. The glory of Babylon has given way to the Medo-Persian empire and its glory. The vision of 70 weeks is the theme of the chapter and once again Gabriel is sent to reveal to Daniel the meaning of the vision.
In Luke 1, Zacharias, fulfilling his course in the temple, is stunned to suddenly see an angel standing at the right of the incense altar. It is Gabriel once again on his third mission to earth; this time it is to reveal the soon-to-be birth of a son to Zacharias and Elizabeth.
Gabriel, fresh from the glory of heaven, would perhaps not be overly impressed with the glory and splendor of Shushan, Babylon, or even the beauty of the temple. But he could not help but notice them. What must have been his wonder and shock, however, to be sent to – Nazareth. His final mission was to a peasant’s home in a poor, dirty village in Galilee. No gilded walls; no golden thrones; no vessels of silver and gold.
Would he have wondered that the Creator, the God of the universe, would choose this place for His home? Would he have looked in amazement at its humble surroundings, its privations and poverty, and marveled to think of the One Who would humble Himself? How can we do less!
1. Look at different times that angels were linked with the life of the Lord Jesus Christ from the announcement of Gabriel and then the heavenly hosts of Luke 2, to their ministry after the temptation, and others.
2. An angel had appeared to Manoah and his wife in Judges 13 with a similar message of a son to be born who would be a deliverer. But notice the contrasts.
3. Look at the first mentions of Nazareth in each Gospel and notice how it is introduced in a different context.