Tuesday, December 8, 2009

“Gabriel and Zechariah—Two Different Kind of Angels” (Luke 1:18-20)

S-1150 12/02/09 1MIA/3C (O) #56; (S) #368; LSB; (C) #364 LSB

Texts: Daniel 9:20-24; Philippians 1:1-7; Luke 1:5-25

Theme: “Gabriel and Zechariah—Two Different Kind of Angels” (Luke 1:18-20)

Question: “How observant are you?”


Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! The text for our First Sunday in Advent is the Gospel Lesson: “And Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.’ And the angel answered him, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time’” (Luke 1:18-20).

Introduction: In Nomine IESU

Saints in Christ tonight we rejoice that once again we are privileged and honored to walk on the journey of Advent. By the power of the Holy Spirit we shall continue this journey until we reach the manger, kneel and worship the New Born King who came and is coming again to take all believers to His mansion in heaven.

Beloved in the Lord, open God’s Holy Book, study it, dig deep into its goldmine and you shall see treasures beyond your wildest dreams. Within this treasure, the Holy Spirit has used angels to convey the messages of God and carry on the ministry of the Lord Yahweh.

We are introduced to angels after Adam and Eve sinned against God and fallen from His grace. God in love and mercy drove them out of the Garden lest they live in sin forever. To protect them from eternal death and eating from the tree of life, the angels stood guard at the entrance of the Garden.

Again, we see the angels as they make a pit-stop at Abram’s tent and proclaim to him that his wife Sari would have a child and call his name Isaac meaning laughter. In chapter 6 of Isaiah, the angel comes to the aid of this man of God as he cries out that He had seen the Lord. The angel comes to the rescue and removes a coal from the altar and touches Isaiah and wipes away his sins and commissioned him to go and share the message of salvation. In the den of lions, the angel shut the mouth of the lions and spared the life of God’s servant Daniel.

In the New Testament, the angles of God continue to play a prominent role in the lives of the saints. In the Gospel of Luke, we meet the angel Gabriel (God’s mighty one) speaking with Zechariah about the forthcoming son–the forerunner of Jesus who will prepare the way of the Lord.

Tonight by the grace of God, we come into God’s presence. And in this place we hear Gabriel speak to aged Zechariah. We rejoice in the story as told to us by Luke of Gabriel’s visit to the soon-to-be father in the promise of the giving of John {John means Gift of God} This story tells of how God brings life where death ought to win - at least according to the fall into sin; joy where sadness is.

Barren Elizabeth and Zechariah knew what it meant to have promise all around them, yet see the empty well in their own front yard - no child to hold and embrace, no child to help in their old age and no heir. Ah, but the Lord would provide - and so He did, and so He does! Yes, John, Gift of God was provided. John would go forth in the spirit of Elijah to turn hearts toward his God.

Gabriel, God’s mighty man comes with hope in his words and help in his message. He introduces Himself to Zechariah and informs him that God has heard his prayers. And his prayers will be answered. But Zechariah doubts the message and for his doubting God’s messenger and God’s message his tongue is tied until the birth of his son John.

For us who are living this side of the grave we at times are challenged by the Words of God. We doubt His power in our lives. We lack trusting Him to fulfill His promises.

Two different kinds of angels: one with message of certainty and the other with message of doubt until he sees his son and then his tongue is loosed and he praises the God of heaven and earth. And this second angel, is a sure and certain sign from God Himself that He provides for all our need, but especially the need of delivering man from death and hell replacing doubt with certainty, forgiving sin and restoring those who fear and doubt – folks like Zechariah… and you and me!. Our gracious Lord fulfills His promises by providing what is lacking. He provides life and laughter - not the kind that fade when the comic departs the stage or when age and infirmity strike their final blow. Our Lord, the Pre-Existent One He provides even for today, and even unto all eternity. Zechariah came to understand that over time.

Listen to Zechariah’s faith-filled words which tell us the blessings that he and you and I receive from the Lord because of the One announced by John (read Luke 1:68-79).

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us; to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath that He swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways, to give knowledge of salvation to His people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace
(Luke 1:68-79). PAUSE.

Yes, two different angels – one from heaven – the other redeemed by heaven and destined to now call heaven his home. Even as Zechariah doubted but then declared: God’s gift, the Gift of God {John} is given… and lo and behold, the Seventy Weeks, the complete time, they are accomplished. Yes those who confess their sins, even as did Daniel the mighty prophet of God, now sees that the Seventy Weeks are done – the forerunner of Messiah, this Gift of God, he is come.

Now even as Gabriel, the messenger from heaven gave strength to this messenger born of woman, born in time, this second messenger, Zechariah declares that “God is Remembered” and that God has remembered” – that the time has come! Now His Son, this Gift of God would declare the coming of our Savior. This is a grand prophecy, given from heaven and from earth, for He who is from Above is about to put on the cloak of our humanity, to be clothed in our flesh, and in that, our need, that we would be clothed with His eternity, His forgiveness, His peace, yea, His life. To this God, our Coming One who is also the Pre-Existent One belongs all the glory, now and forever, Amen.

Now the peace of God…

Soli Deo Gloria


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