Christmas is such a great time of year! It gives people something to look forward to, something to be excited about. Decorations spring up and brighten our environment. We love giving gifts and we certainly love receiving them. Most of us get some extra time off to be with family or to just be able to do things. Sadly, the foundational reason behind this great time of year has become less and less relevant. All of this giving and good will stems from recognizing and honoring the birth of the most influential and heroic human being in all of world history. With the birth of Jesus, the world began to change. For most people that change has been imperceptible for the last 2,000 years, but it is happening. How do we know? An angel told us! Did you hear what he said?
400 years of silence
God often communicated with ancient Israel by sending prophets and angels to deliver His messages. Before the time leading up to Jesus’ birth, there was a 400-year prophetic and angelic silence from God. When angelic messages began to be delivered after this 400-year silence, it meant that something of great importance was happening. That something was the birth of Jesus, and it was a sacred and important event in God’s eyes. When angels speak, those being spoken to should listen with care.
Zacharias was literally left speechless
To have one angelic message delivered regarding a specific series of events would be dramatic, especially after centuries of God’s silence. It could easily have left the recipient speechless, and as a matter of fact, that is exactly what happened. Zacharias, the man who would be John the Baptist’s father, was struck speechless when he was visited by an angel and doubted the angel’s message. Zacharias learned much from this, and his experience made him stronger in faith and devotion. The point is, after his initial doubts, he listened to the angel and acted on what he had heard.
To have two angelic messages delivered would be awe inspiring. Mary would be the next recipient of an angelic message. She also listened to the angel, even though her responsibilities from that message would fundamentally change every aspect of her life. One common thread from both of these angelic messages was their connection to ancient biblical prophecies. By listening to the angel’s messages, both Zacharias and Mary were also listening to Bible prophecy.
But this is just the beginning. In all, there were seven messages from God to those who were involved before and after Jesus’ birth. Check out our December 26, 2022 podcast, “Am I Listening to the Angel?” for more. We outline these seven messages and look at their connection to prophecy and God’s plan. What we find is a profoundly revealing pattern. Those angelic messages were not merely meant for those specific individuals to whom they were given. They were and are ageless messages for all of us. The question is, are we listening to the angels?