Angelic Witnesses to the Son of God

Biblical Sermon Outline
By Pastor Ron Jones,


When the time came in the history of mankind when the Son of God was to be born a man. God chose that he would be born in very humble circumstances, in a manger in the small village of Bethlehem. When Jesus would be born, there would be no indication from the circumstances and the family that he was born into that this child was truly the Son of God.

Did God testify to the identity of his Son with any kind of supernatural phenomenon so that we could know that this baby was truly the Son of God when everything and everyone looked so ordinary and common?

Yes, he did. God chose witnesses, supernatural ones, angelic heralds.

God says in his word that a fact is established by two or three witnesses.

Deuteronomy 17:6
“On the testimony of two or three witnesses a man shall be put to death, but no one shall be put to death on the testimony of only one witness.”

Deuteronomy 19:15
“One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”

The Jews followed this Biblical principle and even confronted Jesus to see if he had the necessary two or three witnesses to his claims to be messiah.

Jesus himself appeals to this principle.

These angels were sent with a purpose – to reveal the identity of the Son of God to those involved and for those like us who would read of their witness in the Gospels of the New Testament.

The angels who appeared to Zechariah, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds establish for us the witnesses we need to trust that this child who was born on that day was indeed the Son of God.

We will look at two points:

The angelic announcers
The angelic announcements

The angelic announcers

Angels appear to Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, Mary, Joseph, and some shepherds near the time of Christ’s birth.

Who are these angelic beings and why is their testimony important?

Angels are spirit beings created by God to minister to himself and his children.

Hebrews 1:13-14

They are spirits, that is they do not have bodies or other material substance. Angels are normally invisible and serve God without being seen by humans. At certain times within God’s redemptive plan, angels appear to humans, but that is not the norm. There normal ministry is an invisible one.

Angels are announcers of God’s will. This is one of the major ministries of angels. This was their ministry at the birth of God’s Son. They were to announce his coming and reveal who he was.

The angelic announcements at the birth of Christ

In these announcements, the angels make clear exactly who this child is so that there would be no confusion or mistake as to the true identity of this child born in such humble circumstances.

There are four announcements:

1. The announcement to Zechariah
2. The announcement to Mary
3. The announcement to Joseph
4. The announcement to the shepherds

1. The Announcement to Zechariah

The angel Gabriel comes to Zechariah to announce the identity of his son, John the Baptist who would be the forerunner of God’s Son, Jesus.

Luke 1: 11-20
An angel appears to Zechariah to reveal to him that he will have a son who will be the forerunner of the messiah in the spirit and power of Elijah.

John the Baptist was a crucial witness to the identity of God’s Son. The appointed forerunner must come before the messiah came to proclaim his coming. That appointed herald must come in the spirit and power of Elijah. This is what God said would be an important sign of the true messiah so Israel would know when he came. It was crucial that his parents understand who he was and so God sent the angel Gabriel to Zechariah.

2. The announcement to Mary

Luke 1:26-38
Gabriel tells Mary four truths about the identity of this child:

1) His name is to be Jesus
v. 31
The name “Jesus” means the “he will certainly save” (Hendr.Matt1)

2) He will be the Son of the Most High God
v. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.

Jesus will be the Son of God. This term “Son” identifies Jesus in two ways. He is the Son of God in his deity, the second person of the Trinity. It also shows that he had no human father in his human nature, God was his father. That is clearly revealed later when Gabriel tells Mary that she will become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit.

3) He will be the messianic king, the prophesied descendent of David who will rule Israel forever
v. 33

Isaiah 9:6 prophesies that the messiah will be a descendent of David and a king.

4) He will be conceived by the Holy Spirit so that Mary will remain a virgin.
v. 35

It is crucial that Mary have a clear understanding of what is happening to her and that we understand that she was a virgin when she conceived Jesus.

So, we have seen the angel Gabriel appear to two human beings who will have important roles in the plan of redemption centered in his Son. One was Mary and one was Zecahariah.

How do we know that these angels actually appeared to them? How do we know that they were not making it up?

1) The veracity of Luke as a historian
Luke 1:1-4

Luke must have interviewed Mary and possibly Elizabeth or Zechariah.

2) The two separate witnesses of Mary and Zechariah
They are two of the two or three human witnesses!

3. The announcement to Joseph

The apostle Matthew who was in a position to know as a close associate of Jesus and one of the twelve appointed by Jesus to take his message to the world brings in a third witness, Joseph, who saw and heard the testimony of a third angelic witness.

Matthew 1:18-23
As Joseph was contemplating what he would do now that he found out that mary was pregnant, an angel appeared to him to reveal that this was God’s work.

The angel announced two truths to Joseph.

1) He will be conceived by the Holy Spirit so that Mary will remain a virgin.
v. 20

This statement parallels what Gabriel told Mary. Joseph must take Mary into his home and provide a stable environment for Jesus to grow up in. He also must be absolutely certain who this child was.

2) His name is to be Jesus and he will save his people from their sin.
v. 21

Like Mary, the angel tells Joseph what the name of this child is to be. But here the angel reveals the significance of this name and the child who will bear it.

Psalms 130:7-8

This gives the mission of this child – to save his people from their sins. This child was the messiah.

Matthew then adds that all of what he has just described is taking place according to what God had prophesied in Isaiah, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.” Matthew adds, “which means, ‘God with us.’”

The last of the angelic witnesses is a multitude of angels sent to a group of shepherds.

God is now expanding the angelic testimony to include many.

4. The announcement to the shepherds

The angel announced three titles for Jesus, brief and concise, but powerful identification of his true identity.

1) He is a Savior
v. 11 “a Savior”
This is a title that God alone claimed for himself in the OT. When the angel gave the title of Savior to Jesus, he was proclaiming his deity.

Isaiah. 43:11-12
Isaiah 45:21

2) He is Christ, the anointed messiah
v. 11 “who is Christ”
“Christos” in the Greek which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word “messiah.”

Matthew 16:15-16 “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God?”

Matthew 26:63 “Are you the Christ, the Son of God?”

This was a title that the Israelites used as a title of messiah.

3) He is Lord, the ruler of the universe
v. 11 ”…the Lord…”

There were two major words used for God in the Hebrew of the OT, “Elohim”(God) and “Jehovah or Yahweh” (LORD). The Greek for “Elohim” is “theos.” The Greek for “Jehovah or Yahweh” is “Kurios.”

When the angel uses this term he is saying that this child will be called Lord, Jehovah.

In John 20:27-28, when Thomas bowed before the risen Lord Jesus, these two terms were used by him showing that he and the other disciples were completely aware of who Jesus claimed to be.

At the birth of Jesus Christ, the angel declares that Jesus will be Lord Jehovah.

Notice, the shepherds take off to find this child and they do.

They find Mary, Joseph, and the child just as the angel said. This was a great encouragement to Mary and Joseph who were in some very difficult circumstances iin birthing their baby.

The shepherds went all over Bethlehem sharing what they had seen and heard regarding the angels and their glorious testimony and this child they had seen.

People were amazed.

Notice, the public nature of this angelic testimony. It was to more than one person and they went around and told everyone about it.

Again, God provided more than one person who was the only one who saw or heard anything. There were several shepherds here.


The angels appeared to different people, one to Zechariah, one to Mary, one to Joseph, and a multitude of angels to a group of shepherds.

The human witnesses bear witness to the truthfulness of the angelic witnesses.

The multiple human witnesses bear witness to the multiple angelic witnesses to the truthfulness of the angelic appearances.

This kind of testimony is not found in any other religion.

How did God prove that Mary bore the Son of God?

God sent angelic witnesses to identify his Son to different people who could verify the truthfulness of the angelic appearances and their common message.

This is what we would expect from God who is a supernatural being.

Our faith in that baby as the Son of God is not blind. It is based on eye-witnesses of divine revelation.

God always intended for our faith to be based on evidence. Real historical evidence. The testimony of Zechariah, Mary, Joseph and the shepherds stands at his birth and shining testimony that Jesus was indeed the Son of God.