Luke 4:1,2; Luke 4:13; Matthew 4:11
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him.
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.
JOHN GILL (1697-1771): They came to Him in a visible, human form, as they were used to do under the Old Testament dispensation, and that after the temptation was over―after Satan was foiled, and was gone―that it might appear that Christ alone had got the victory over him, without any help or assistance from them. When they were come, they “ministered to Him.”
JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): Perhaps food to His body, as once to Elias, 1 Kings 19:5, 6; but certainly comfort to His soul, as to Jacob, Hagar, Daniel, Zacharias, Joseph, Cornelius, and Paul…Though they do not often vocally express it, they do pity our human frailties, and secretly suggest comfort to us, when we perceive it not.
JOHN GILL: Thus, as the angels are “ministering spirits” to the heirs of salvation, both in a temporal and in a spiritual sense, Hebrews 1:14, so they were to Christ.
JOHN TRAPP: Christ indeed was not comforted by them till the temptation was over; but to us they minister, many times, in the hour of temptation.
CHARLES SIMEON (1759-1836): On many occasions we find angels employed by God to execute His purposes respecting men. Sometimes they have been sent as executioners of His judgments; but most generally as dispensers of some special mercy.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): The angels are sometimes used by God to cheer us, and to give us comfort and consolation; for the apostle Paul tells his companions on that ship, you remember, that was already in a shipwrecked condition―“for there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul,” and he told him certain things, Acts 77:22-24. The angel was sent by God in order to cheer up the apostle.
WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): What was the happy hour in which the angel knocked at Daniel’s door to let him know how God loved him? Was it not when he was knocking at heaven’s door by his prayer? “At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee, for thou art greatly beloved,” Daniel 9:23.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Not only that, but we find that the angels are used in protecting us. Do you remember the 91st Psalm, verses ten and eleven? “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” Do you remember Daniel being cast into that cage with the lions? Yet he came out quite unscathed, and here is his explanation of it: “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me,” Daniel 6:22…And there is very little doubt that it was the angels who enabled that poor, unhappy, miserable, pessimistic servant of Elisha to realize that though the enemy was coming with great might to attack them, that they were also surrounded by an unseen host that would destroy the enemy, 2 Kings 6:17.
JOHN TRAPP: They have power over the devils to restrain them; and―though invisibly and insensibly―are as ready to help and comfort us as the evil angels to tempt and trouble us: else were not our protection equal to our danger, and we could neither stand nor rise.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: But the angels are also used by God to give us deliverance. Do you remember that in the 12th chapter of Acts, we read of Peter being arrested and thrown into prison? And do you remember what happened to him? “And behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.” Then the angel went and opened doors and gates, and Peter simply follows the angel. He was delivered from prison through the means of an angel.
JOHN TRAPP: Socrates and Theodoret tell us of one Theodorus, a martyr, put to extreme torments by Julian the apostate, and dismissed again by him, when he saw him unconquerable. Ruffinus tells us that he met with this martyr, a long time after this trial, and asked him, “whether the pain he felt were not insufferable?” He answered, “that at first it was somewhat grievous; but after a while, there seemed to stand by him a young man in white, who with a soft handkerchief wiped off the sweat of his body and bade him be of good cheer.” Insomuch as that it was rather a punishment than a pleasure to him to be taken off the rack, since, when the tormentors had done, the angel was gone―and how many unspeakable comforts ministered the good angels to [other] martyrs in their prisons, at the stake, and in the fire!
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): How angels thus keep us we cannot tell. Whether they repel demons, counteract spiritual plots, or even ward off the subtler physical forces of disease, we do not know. Perhaps we shall one day stand amazed at the multiplied services which the unseen bands have rendered to us.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: Now all that is very marvelous and very wonderful, isn’t it? That’s what the angels do for us while we’re in this life. But now I am going to say something that I trust may give great comfort and consolation to many people who may have been looking forward perhaps to the end of their life in this world with fear, and dread, and terror, and alarm, afraid of the physical aspect of death. My dear friend, you needn’t be, for I read in Luke 16:22 this: “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.”
JOHN FLAVEL (1630-1691): As soon as saints are cut down by death, they fall into the hands and bosoms of the angels of God, who bear them in their arms and bosoms to their Father. For look, as these blessed spirits did rejoice at their conversion, Luke 5:10, and thought it no dishonour to minister them, so when they are cut down by death, they will rejoice to be their convoy to heaven.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: And when you come to die, they’ll be there to receive your spirit, and to take it to paradise. That’s the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Never again, Christian people, imagine that when you come to die, you’ll be going in some awful loneliness as a disembodied spirit to an unknown. Not at all. The angels of God will be there to receive you, and to conduct you, and to take you to be with the Lord in paradise. What a wonderful thing!
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the 500th post published on the Bible Truth Chat Room. But far more importantly, 2017 marks the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Beginning next week, and during the remainder of this year, occasionally we hope to publish some posts to commemorate that Anniversary. And let us all pray that God will revive His Church in our own day, confound the spiritual enemies of Jesus Christ and His truth, and once again put them to flight by another mighty Reformation.