24 Dec Angels Who Have Seen On High
December 24, 2018
Great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, was vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
–1 Timothy 3:16
In 1 Timothy 3:16, Paul gave a summary of the gospel: Jesus was revealed in the flesh. He was vindicated in the Spirit. And He was seen by angels. I want us to think about the phrase “seen by angels.” You see, the angels have the best seat in the house. They understand the significance of Christmas unlike any of us could ever appreciate.
I read an article a few years ago by Colin Smith entitled, “Christmas As The Angels Saw It.” In that article, Smith talked about seven facets of Christ’s life to which the angels were eyewitnesses. I would like to expand on those thoughts this week and talk about what the angels know about Jesus Christ that we can never fully comprehend.
The Bible teaches that the angels saw Christ’s glory in Heaven. Jesus Christ was not a created being; He has always existed. In John 8:58, Jesus said, “Before Abraham was born, I am.” Now, that was something for Jesus to claim, because Abraham was the revered patriarch of the Jewish faith. Jesus was saying, “Even though Abraham lived 2,000 years before I was born, before Abraham was, I am. I am the eternal God.” In John 17:5, Jesus prayed, “Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Jesus said He shared the glory with His Father before the earth was formed. In Colossians 1:16, Paul said of Jesus, “by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Jesus Christ is the One who created everything in this universe, including the angels. The angels, like you and I, did not always exist. They existed before the world was created, Job 38:4-7 says, but they came into being by the creative act of Jesus Christ.
What was the first thing the angels saw when they opened their angelic eyes? In Isaiah 6:1, the prophet said, “In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple.” Most of us assume Isaiah saw a vision of God the Father. No, God is Spirit; you cannot see God the Father. Jesus said in John 12:41, “These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.” In other words, “When Isaiah spoke of these things, he was speaking of Me.” Isaiah saw Jesus on the throne. And he saw the angels encircling the throne and crying out, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:3). From ages past, the angels were looking at and worshipping Jesus Christ, the Lord. The angels knew who Jesus was; they knew Him as the Creator God. That would have made the Bethlehem story all the more remarkable to the angels.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Angels Who Have Seen On High ” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.
Colin Smith, “Christmas As The Angels Saw It,” Preaching Today, August 2005, https://www.preachingtoday.com/sermons/sermons/2005/august/2204.html.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.