December 7: Better Than Angels
BY Wesley Biblical Seminary
December 7, 2017
This post is part of a series of Christmas Devotionals by Dr. John Neihof, president of Wesley Biblical Seminary. You can find all of the devotionals by clicking here.
Scripture passage: Hebrews1:1-4
Angels are a very important part of the Christmas story. The angels appeared to Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds. But angels are also very popular in our culture. It seems that everybody’s talking about angels. Christmas cards, ornaments, music, figurines, decorative pins. Angels.
But what do we believe about angels? It’s interesting to me that many people who are enamored with angels don’t appear to be very interested in God or His Son Jesus, the Creator of angels. Why is that? If idolatry may be defined as worshiping the created rather than the Creator, is it not possible that some people have an almost idolatrous interest in angels? Or, is Jesus really better than angels?
Jesus is better than angels because He is the Son of God, He Speaks as God, He Shines as God, He Shows us God, He Sustains God’s Creation, He Saves from sin, and He Sat down at God’s right hand.
Jesus is the SON of God.
“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).
At John’s baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, all three gospels record,
“And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22).
Angels cannot claim to be the son of God.
Jesus SPEAKS as God.
On the mountain of transfiguration, God the Father testified of His Son before Peter, James, John, Jesus, Moses and Elijah.
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matt. 17:5b).
Angels do not speak AS God, only FOR Him.
Jesus SHINES as God.
“… who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).
Angels do not shine as brightly as Jesus Christ, their radiance is only a reflection of His glory which He has given them through creating them.
Jesus SHOWS us God.
“…and the express image of His person…” (Hebrews 1:3b).
Jesus is “the exact representation of God’s being.” Jesus is not a mini replica of God. He is God made flesh.
Angels cannot claim to be God.
Jesus SUSTAINS God’s creation.
“… upholding all things by the word of His power…” (Hebrews 1:3c).
Powerful. Not like a superhero. Not like a Greek god. The Eternal Logos, the Word, is God, and through Him everything coheres (John 1:1-3). He holds the planets in space and pattern. He controls time and seasons. He is God.
Angels have no creating or sustaining power. Their power is granted to them by the Creator God of the Universe.
Jesus SAVES from sin.
“… when He had by Himself purged our sins…” (Hebrews 1:3d).
Jesus, the Lamb of God, shed His blood on the cross of Calvary to forgive and cleanse us from our sins. Angels cannot do that.
Angels have no forgiving or purifying power over sin.
Jesus SAT down at the right hand of the Father
“… sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” 1:3.
Christ’s redemptive act is finished.
Why? Jesus is better than angels because He is the Son of God, He Speaks as God, He Shines as God, He Shows us God, He Sustains God’s Creation, He Saves from sin, and He Sat down at God’s right hand. In this season of Christmas, let us worship Jesus, for He is God’s Best.