Gabriel – You’re an Angel!

The Characters of the Christmas Story


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Gabriel is one of the reasons why the subtitle of this series isn’t the “people” of the Christmas story. Gabriel, the fourth character in the Christmas story, is an angel. People are fascinated with angels. Angels are mentioned a few times in the Christmas story.

Titian – Polyptych of the Resurrection – Archangel Gabriel

Gabriel is one of two angels mentioned by name in the Bible. The other is Michael Daniel 10:13. He first appears in the book of Daniel (Daniel 8:16; 9:21). His role there is similar to what he does in the Christmas story. He’s a messenger from God. In fact, the primary meaning of the Greek word that is translated as “angel” is messenger.

5 Things We Know About Gabriel And Angels In General

  1. There are different types of angels including cherubim Genesis 3:24, seraphim Isaiah 6:2, and archangel Jude 9. We’re not told what kind of angel Gabriel is.
  2. There are good angels and bad angels 2 Peter 2:4. It’s pretty clear Gabriel is a good angel. And, since it’s Christmas, let’s only talk about the good angels today.
  3. All good angels are normally unseen helpers for Christians. Even in the Bible, seeing or talking to an angel was rare. Hebrews 1:14 tells us all angels are ministering spirits. The word “minister” means to serve. How they serve isn’t explained.
  4. The fact that Gabriel was seen and heard meant he had important news! In the Bible angels often appear at significant times in human history. So the presence of an angel at the beginning of the Christmas story indicates that what he had to say was important.
  5. In the Bible, seeing an angel isn’t the fluffy feel-good experience that some people describe who say they’ve seen angels in our day. Daniel, (Daniel 8:17), Zechariah Luke 1:11 and Mary Luke 1:29-30 saw, were initially afraid of, and troubled by the angel Gabriel. There is something about seeing an angel that these three godly people found frightening.

Do We Have Guardian Angels?

In Matthew 18:10, when talking about children, Jesus said,

See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

When you combine this verse with Hebrews 1:14 it’s easy to see how someone came up the idea of having a guardian angel. However, nowhere in the Bible does it say we’re assigned a personal guardian angel. For the angel’s sake I hope that’s not the case. Think about it. There are some pretty miserable people, even Christians, that no one likes to be around. Can you imagine an angel being stuck with someone like that for every moment of that person’s life?

It’s comforting and fun to think that angels are around to help us!

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