"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests."
- Luke 2:13-14
Today I simply want to look at different commentary quotes about Luke 2:13-14. The angelic proclamation is so powerful and such a beautiful thing to envision, so I couldn’t help but look up what is all said about these verses…
First of all, looking at the words “great company” – or as some translations word it, “a multitude” – we see, as McGarvey and Pendleton’s commentary says, “the event was too important to be heralded by any one angel. All heaven was interested in the departure of its Prince, and marvelled at the grace of the Father who sent him.”
John Gill points out that it is “said here to be a multitude, for the angels are innumerable; there are thousands, ten thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand of them: it may be rendered "the multitude," and may intend the whole company of angels, who were all of them together to sing the praises of God, and glorify him at the birth of the incarnate Saviour, as well as to adore him.” What a picture!
Then, looking at the words “heavenly host” there are a couple of descriptions that give further explanations of who these “heavenly hosts” were:
First, they are called simply, “God’s army” – but, though an army, they have come to announce and celebrate the coming of eternal peace! Another wording is “the militia of heaven” or “the ministers of God.” As “ministers of God” they wait upon Him, and do His pleasure; and are sent forth here to minister to His people.
As mentioned above, the angels announced peace… and there was also more to that – for they were “praising God on account of the birth of Christ, and the redemption that was to be obtained by him, for elect men; which shows their friendly disposition to them, and how much they rejoice at their spiritual and eternal welfare. And thus, as at the laying of the foundation of the earth, these "morning stars sang together, and all these sons of God shouted for joy," they did the same when the foundation of man's salvation was laid in the incarnation of the Son of God.”
John Welsey points out that “with the Redeemer’s birth, peace, and all kind of happiness, come down to dwell on earth: the overflowing of Divine good will and favour are now exercised toward men.”
What a reason to praise God and glorify Him! And what a perfect way to welcome the Saviour!