Who Is the Angel Gabriel in the Bible & Why Is He Important?

Who Is the Angel Gabriel in the Bible & Why Is He Important?

Throughout the Bible, God would send messengers on His behalf to convey a Word or a message to the people of God. Messages could come in the form of dream or vision, but at times messages would be conveyed through an Angel of the Lord. The Angel Gabriel is mentioned in the Bible multiple times, all of which were events that would change the course of history in alignment for the fulfillment of God’s Will in the world.

Where Is Gabriel Mentioned in the Bible?

1. Gabriel Appears to Daniel

The first time Gabriel is mentioned in the Bible is in the Book of Daniel. Daniel had prayed with great fervor for the nation of the Lord. Daniel had been receiving visions from the Lord, many of which he was not in full understanding of, which lead Gabriel to convey a message, “While I was speaking, praying, confessing my sin and that of my people Israel, and presenting my petition before the LORD my God concerning His holy mountain— while I was still praying, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. He instructed me and spoke with me, saying: “O Daniel, I have come now to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your petitions, an answer went out, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly precious” (Daniel 9). Gabriel continued to interpret the visions Daniel had been given and to convey the hope and additional prophecy of the coming Christ in the future.

2. Gabriel Appears to Zachariah

The next instance of Gabriel coming to convey a message is to Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist. Luke 1:11 shares, "Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years."

The angel said to him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news." Gabriel makes it clear that he is from the Lord for he was permitted to stand in the presence of the Most High God to convey such a message of joy and hope. John’s role in the Kingdom and his role in helping make way for his cousin was vital, so the message to his father of how to intentionally raise him was vital.

3. Gabriel Appears to Mary

Gabriel is last mentioned when he is sent to speak with Mary. Mary was a young Jewish girl who was engaged but was a virgin. Gabriel comes in Luke 1:26 a few months after he appeared to Zechariah to reveal to Mary that she will be the one to carry the Savior of the World, and the one to fulfill the prophecies promised years prior of the coming Savior being born of a virgin.

In all three instances the people that Gabriel visits are at first terrified, but Gabriel not only brings messages of hope, he also comes in kindness. In Luke 1:29 he reassurances Mary by saying, "Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.'" Zechariah too was frightened, but Gabriel senses his fear and seeks to convey that his message is optimistic, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, your prayer has been heard." Daniel too is assured that he is highly precious. It is clear that Gabriel not only comes to bring news but to offer it with a sincere heart that those who received the news were favored, loved, and precious to the Lord.

All instances of Gabriel coming to the people of God were to provide prophecy and promise ultimately pointed to the Messiah Christ Jesus. In the Book of Daniel, there is insight given for what is to come in the near future for the nation of the Lord, but also a given promise of what is to come years in the future through Jesus. Gabriel’s message to Zechariah is to convey the blessing that his son, John, would be to the Kingdom of God in making way for his cousin, Jesus. John the Baptist would later be the one to baptize Jesus and even in the womb, we are told he recognized and joyously moved to praise the unborn Savior of the world (Luke 1:41). Mary is given the promise that the child she will soon carry is in fact the long-awaited Messiah. Gabriel is the messenger of hope that points to Jesus in every instance and continuously proves true. 

What Does the Bible Say about Gabriel’s Title and How to Respond to Him?

Unlike the Angel Michael, Gabriel is not referred to as an Archangel. The Bible does not specify in depth what his ranking is as an angel, but what he is called to do is of more importance than his title. Luke 1:19 reveals that he stood in the presence of God, which emphasizes God’s unwavering trust in him. It is also his role to convey insight of the coming Savior, exceedingly sacred messages to the people of God from God Himself. Gabriel means, “God is my strength” and it is evident that he lives up to his name in relying on God to fulfill the messages he is given to deliver.

The Bible is very strong in communicating not to worship angels. Revelation 19:9-10 shares, “Then the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!" And he added, "These are the true words of God." At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Don't do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus." We do not need to pray to angels either. When Jesus died on the Cross, He tore the curtain that separated God from man, therefore we have direct access to the Father to pray. We do not need a middleman in praying to angels to convey a message to God, we can ask Him ourselves. God uses angels in the Kingdom for His Will and for work, but we need not pray through them to have access to God that was achieved through Christ.

During this season of Christmas, we can look back at how God used messengers to give assurances of the promise of Christ to man. God fulfilled such messages through the arrival of Jesus. Gabriel was a faithful angel of the Lord with a compassionate heart towards the children of God. Hold firm this season that the God who sends angels to provide hope to mankind still works today in each of our lives.


Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Rudall30

Cally Logan is an author and US History teacher from Richmond, Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys mentoring youth and spending time in nature. Her book, Hang on in There, Girl! Will be available everywhere on April 1, 2022. Check her out on Instagram and Twitter, @CallyLogan and TikTok Cally_Logan. 

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