Do Angels appear
in the New Testament?
Q. Are there angelic appearances in the New Testament? WHEN does an angel appear to a human and what is the purpose of their visit?
A. At least SEVENTEEN appearances of angels are listed in the Gospel accounts and in the rest of the New Testament. They are:
1) An angel appears to Zacharias the priest declaring he will have a son to be named John (John the Baptist).
"There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias . . . His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. . . . But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren . . .
"Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. . . ." " (Luke 1:5, 7, 11-13)
|2) An angel from God tells a virgin named Mary she will give birth to the savior of mankind.|
"Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"
"Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus." " (Luke 1:26-28, 30-31)
3), 4), 5) An angel appeared THREE times to Joseph: once regarding marrying Mary and twice concerning the protection of baby Jesus.
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. " (Matthew 1:18-20, NKJV throughout)
"Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him." (Matthew 2:12-13)"Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead." Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel." (Matthew 2:19-21)
6), 7) Angels appear twice to shepherds near Bethlehem regarding the birth of Jesus.
"Now there were in the same country (Bethlehem) shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them . . . Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. . . . " " (Luke 2:8-11)
"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" " (Luke 2:13-14)
8) Angels minister to Jesus after he was tempted by the devil for forty days.
"Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." . . . Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him." (Matthew 4:1-3, 11)
9) From time to time an angel would stir the water in the pool of Bethesda. The first person to enter the pool after the angel stirred it would be healed of their diseases.
"After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had." (John 5:1-4)
10) God sends an angel to Jesus to strengthen him before his suffering and death.
"Coming out, He went to the Mount of Olives, as He was accustomed, and His disciples also followed Him. When He came to the place, He said to them, "Pray that you may not enter into temptation." . . . Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. " (Luke 22:39-40, 43)
11), 12) An angel appears on the outside and inside of Jesus' tomb declaring he has already risen from the dead.
"Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. . . . But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. . . ." " (Matthew 28:1-2, 5-6)
"And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. . . ." " (Mark 16:5-6)
13) Two angels declare to the disciples, right after Jesus ascends to heaven, that he will return to the earth.
"Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."" (Acts 1:9-11)
14) An angel frees the apostles from prison.
"Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, "Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life." " (Acts 5:17-20)
15) An angel appears to a Gentile named Cornelius telling him to send for the apostle Peter.
"There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, "Cornelius!"
"And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, "What is it, lord?"
"So he said to him, "Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter. . . ." " (Acts 10:1-5)
16) An angel sets Peter free from prison.
"Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church. . . . And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also.
"Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, "Gird yourself and tie on your sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me." So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. " (Acts 12:1, 3, 5, 7-9)
17) An angel tells the apostle Paul that he and those with him on the ship will not lose their lives at sea.
"And when it was decided that we should sail to Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to one named Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment. So, entering a ship of Adramyttium, we put to sea, meaning to sail along the coasts of Asia. Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, was with us.
"But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.' " " (Acts 27:1-2, 21-24)