AN ANGEL APPEARED TO JOSEPH, MATTHEW 1:20-25
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
GABRIEL APPEARED TO MARY, LUKE 1:26-38
In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
FROM LUKE 2:7-20
And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
COMMENTARY FROM SPURGEON ON LUKE 2:10-12:
The joy which this first gospel preacher spoke of was no mean one, for he said, “I bring you good tidings”-that alone were joy: and not good tidings of joy only, but “good tidings of great joy.” Every word is emphatic, as if to show that the gospel is above all things intended to promote, and will most abundantly create the greatest possible joy in the human heart wherever it is received. Man is like a harp unstrung, and the music of his soul’s living strings is discordant, his whole nature wails with sorrow; but the son of David, that mighty harper, has come to restore the harmony of humanity, and where his gracious fingers move among the strings, the touch of the fingers of an incarnate God brings forth music sweet as that of the spheres, and melody rich as a seraph’s canticle. Would God that all men felt that divine hand.
MY COMMENTS ON JOY:
Real Christian joy, the kind that is described as fullness of joy, great joy, and everlasting joy is a joy that we have in God the Father, Jesus His Son, and in the fellowship of believers (1 Jn. 1:2-4).
This Christian joy is produced and sustained according to the degree that we abide in Christ. And we abide in Him by keeping His commandments, especially the command to love one another. John 15: 10-12 says,
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Trying to describe pure joy is trying to describe heaven, being always in the presence of God. What will that be like?
Psalms 16: 11 says,
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
I think we’ll be forever opening presents and being surprised. We’ll never be bored. There will be new exciting adventures at every corner of life. All our senses will be enhances. Smell, taste, touch, hearing, seeing. Our brains will be new and working better than ever.
Think of some timeless, unhurried moments. Where time was not an issue. Being carefree. Think of times when there was pure enjoyment: with a good friend, an adventure, a vacation, with nothing to do but enjoy. Think of the most enjoyable thing you ever did. Think about a gift you would like to receive and picture yourself opening it and being surprised that it was more than you expected. Heaven will be like continually openings gifts and being surprised, and like giving gifts and seeing others are surprised.
And the greatest gift we will have is Jesus, to look on His face and enjoy His presence.
He will do for us exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think (Eph. 3:20). This will happen because He will strengthen us through His Spirit in our inner man, and we will be rooted and grounded in His love, so much so that we will be able to comprehend with all the saints how very vast (width, length, depth, height) His love is. We will never be able to fully understand it, but we will experience it more and more each day, and it will be wonderful. Imagine, experiencing God, being full of the fullness of God always. It’s more that we can imagine.
WHAT ARE THE ANGEL’S PERSPECTIVES?
They are quite familiar with joy because they live in heaven and haven’t experienced sin, which takes away joy.
They want us to experience the same joy, they long for us to experience it.
Angels have not sinned, so they are innocent. Their eyes have not been opened to know evil; they do not understand the full significance of the gospel. Therefore, I think we will appreciate the joy of heaven more then they do.