Messages From Gabriel
Gabriel is a high-ranking angel of God. His name means man of God, which well-indicates his loyal and trusted status before The Lord. He identified himself simply as, "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God." (Luke 1:19 RSV)
There are 4 recorded appearances of Gabriel in The Bible when he was identified by name, each time with an important prophetic message (see Prophecy) from God to specific people - twice to the prophet Daniel; once to Zechariah, the father of John The Baptist; once to Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.
- To Daniel, explaining the vision of the ram and the he goat -
- "When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it; and behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called, "Gabriel, make this man understand the vision." So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was frightened and fell upon my face. But he said to me, "Understand, O son of man, that the vision is for the time of the end." (Daniel 8:15-17 RSV)
- To Daniel, explaining the 70 weeks prophecy -
- "while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He came and he said to me, "O Daniel, I have now come out to give you wisdom and understanding. At the beginning of your supplications a word went forth, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly beloved; therefore consider the word and understand the vision. "Seventy weeks of years are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place." (Daniel 9:21-24 RSV)
- To Zechariah to announce the coming of John the Baptist -
- "And there appeared to him an angel of The Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; for he will be great before The Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah [see also Why Elijah?], to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared." And Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news." (Luke 1:11-19 RSV)
Fact Finder: Approximately how much older was John the Baptist than Jesus Christ?
- To Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, one of the most famous passages of The Bible -
- "In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, O favored one, The Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And 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 bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and The Lord God will give to Him the throne of his father David [see The Chosen People], and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom [see The Kingdom of God] there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." (Luke 1:26-35 RSV)