The Majority Angelic View
“Suddenly a great number of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’”
Luke 14:26 (NIVUK)
Opinion polls often make the front pages of our newspapers. Sometimes they shape public opinion more than they inform it. For example, recently we learnt that in the UK men care less about climate change than women. We know this for certain because the Department of Energy and Climate Change published the results of their survey of 2000 adults. Is a sample of 2000 out of over 53 million adults (roughly 0.0037%) enough to claim a trend? Maybe we should take a poll on it!
Angels made their opinion known when Jesus was born. There was no questionnaire and no subsequent analysis of percentages and ratios. It was a reaction to a piece of news that was to shake the world and also alter the course of history.
The Roman Emperor had decreed that a census should take place throughout all his territories. The point was to get more people registered for tax so that new and existing taxpayers could pay more and more tax. “Everyone”, the Bible says, “went to their own town to register”. This is why Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem, because Joseph was a descendant of King David who had been born there. Due to the sheer numbers who came for the census, Joseph and Mary ended up spending the night in a stable, which, typically in those days, would have been attached to or part of a house.
What followed the birth of Christ was an outburst of heavenly excitement. And, by way of contrast, it had nothing to do with taxing as many people as possible: rather it was about saving as many people as possible.
After Mary had given birth to Jesus an angel appeared to shepherds in a nearby field. It was then that multitudes of angels spontaneously expressed their opinion. Was this a direct result of an angelic survey? Of course not! What percentage of the angels was it? Was it the minority or the majority of them? Was it less than 1%? 60%? 75%? How about 90% plus? “A great number”, Luke says.
It was an unprecedented event with an unprecedented message.
Let’s note the majority angelic view: God’s peace and favour is on us.
Thank you, Father, for the angelic host that testified of your peace and favour through Jesus Christ. In His name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. This weekend James is speaking in our Southampton congregation. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.