Which Things The Angels Desire To Look Into

Earlier this month I received a question in my suggestion box [1] from one of my frequent readers, which went as follows: “If we having been made a little lower than the angels and the angels are higher than us then why do the angels desire to look into the Gospel of Christ, why are they not able to do this when they are far superior to us and we are less superior than they. What is that gospel that they desire to look into and can’t? After all surely they can read far better than we can.” This is a good question, and a complicated one, and in discussing it I wish it to be made clear that we are dealing with an area of inference or implication from scripture in many elements of it. Since it is a question of considerable subtlety and complexity, we ought to at least start with some sure scriptural ground. Let us begin by quoting the verses that were included as the text for today by the person who asked the question. First, here is a translation of 1 Peter 2:12: “Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” Next comes a citation of Psalms 8:5: “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.”

The third and longest scriptural citation comes from a book of the Bible I am particularly fond of, in Hebrews 2:6-10 [2]: “But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.” For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” This particular passage has a lot of implications, including the fact that Jesus Christ was perfected through sufferings, and presumably so are we after His example. For the purposes of this particular exploration, it is sufficient to note that mankind is created with an incredible destiny but for the moment we are a little lower than the angels (although it may often seem that we are far less powerful at present). Like little toddlers who are tiny and silly and maladroit now, we have a future of glory and power and strength to grow into, even if we are still young and more than a little immature on the cosmic scale.

So, why would angels want to look into something when they live longer than we do and when they are for now more powerful than we are? The most reasonable explanation, one that accounts for the difference in mentality between angels and demons, is that what they desire to look into is the process by which human beings can become the children of God. Angels were created to be servants of God (and mankind) and are as they were from the start. Yet human beings are creatures who are created in one form and are destined to become another. This sort of metamorphosis would be of interest to angels in much the similar way as we are fascinated by looking at grubby little caterpillars becoming beautiful butterflies. It is not the intellectual knowledge of this process that draws the interest, mainly the sort of alchemy or even magic (if such a word may be permitted) by which one nature is exchanged for another, the mortal for the immortal, the corruptible for the incorruptible, the fallen for the glorious, the transient for the eternal. This is our destiny, and it is such a destiny that the angels want to see it as proof of the glorious abilities of God as a Creator, and also because it means that we will become part of His family.

Yet not everyone among the angelic realm was apparently happy about this. A large part of the resentment and anger that went through what become the demonic realm appears to have been related to this same reality. If you are the servant of a powerful master, and you know that there will be a lot of messy and immature little kids who will one day grow up to rule over you, that might be enough to embitter someone, especially if you wanted to become a ruler yourself but were created to always be a servant. It seems like the worst nightmare of a British period drama, a sort of eternal Wooster and Jeeves, with some foolish master who requires a wise butler who nonetheless always remains a servant [3]. While one being rejoices in his master having a family plan, and the thought of more loving beings as part of that family, another feels as if he has been prevented from an opportunity at advancing his position, destined to remain stuck at the same place for all time. Much happiness in life, and not only for human beings but for angels as well, depends on one’s perspective, and whether one loves one’s place or one has a relentless engine of ambition and striving that knows no rest. As we too are beings who often must choose between contentment and love and fruitless and lonely wandering, I suppose we can identify with that same choice in others as well.

[1] See: https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/suggestion-box/

[2] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/book-review-hebrews-its-not-how-you-start-its-how-you-finish/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/hebrews-10-24-25-not-forsaking-the-assembling-of-ourselves-together/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/what-son-is-there-whom-a-father-does-not-chasten/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/book-review-elementary-principles/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/whats-so-unpardonable-about-the-unpardonable-sin/

[3] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/ask-jeeves/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/dont-go-chasing-waterfalls/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Christianity, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Which Things The Angels Desire To Look Into

  1. Pingback: Book Review: A Life-Changing Encounter With God’s Word From The Book Of 1 Peter | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Booklet Review: Angels | Edge Induced Cohesion

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