John the Apostle




Mary Magdalene


Three Gospels

The New Testament starts with the three Gospel books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. These three are known as the Synoptic Gospels. Gospel means “Good News”, and Synoptic refers to the fact that all three give an account of the same general events from the same point of view. The fourth book, John, is distinctly different from the three Synoptic Gospels, and includes much information not in the other three Gospels.

The four gospel books differ in what stories they include and how the stories are told. None of the four Gospels are meant to be a complete, detailed life of Jesus. Rather, as John wrote, “Jesus truly did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God; and that by believing you might have life through his name.” “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which, if they should all be written, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”

Together, the four Gospels comprise the vast majority of the direct information we have about the life and teachings of Jesus.

The Most Thankful Angel

This episode has a subtle twist. It assumes seven appearances of unnamed angels dealing directly with Jesus shown in the Gospels are all by the same angel (not including Gabriel’s appearances). Using that twist, the backstory of the angel and its thankfulness are part of the story line. The seven appearances are:

  1. To tell Joseph about Mary (Mat. 1:20-24).
  2. Announce the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:9-15).
  3. To tell Joseph to take Jesus to Egypt to avoid Herod’s wrath (Mat. 2:13-14).
  4. To tell Joseph to move from Egypt back to Israel (Matthew 2:19-23).
  5. To attend to Jesus after the wilderness temptations (Matthew 4:11).
  6. To strengthen Jesus at Gethsemane (Luke 22:43).
  7. To roll away the stone of Jesus’ tomb and inform the women (Matthew 28:2-5).

It is quite reasonable to wonder why God didn’t physically protect Jesus while he was on earth. Even Satan recognized that God could have easily done so. During the temptations in the wilderness, Satan applied Psalm 91:11-12, which says that God can command his angels and they will protect him to the extent that he won’t even hit his foot on a rock. With one word, God could have sent ten thousand angels to protect Jesus, as one song suggests.

Why didn’t God protect Jesus physically? The Bible doesn’t specifically say, but possibly it was to allow Jesus to fully experience his human nature. In any event, it is clear that the Gospel writers did not record any events where angels were used to protect Jesus. With the exception of Gethsemane, angels were used only for their primary purpose of being messengers.

Looking at the list of scriptures above, it is apparent that angels were involved in Jesus’ life on earth from start to finish. In fact, they were probably involved even after he left. When Jesus ascended into heaven, Acts 1:10-11 says two men dressed in white tell Jesus’ followers that Jesus went to heaven and would return in the same manner. The most likely conclusion is that those two men were angels.

Primary Scriptures:
Matthew 28:16-20, John 20:19-21:25, Acts 1:1-12, 1 Corinthians 15:5-7
Story Summary:
A summary of the life of Jesus with emphasis on angel appearances
Kingdom of Judea (Israel)
Circa 30 AD