St. Michael and All Angels

Today's Reading: Luke 10:17-20

Daily Lectionary: Deuteronomy 1:19-36; Matthew 5:21-48

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. (Psalm 91:11)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Who is like God? Is that a stupid question? A rhetorical question? A stupid rhetorical question? After all, there's no one like God--that's why He's God!

Yet that's exactly the question asked--or the absolute stated--by the name "Michael." If it is a question, doesn't it demand an answer from us? And if God is speaking an absolute about Himself, why do it through the name of the archangel (Jude 9), the "great prince" who had charge over Israel (Daniel 12:1), the leader of the angels who threw down "the great dragon ... Satan" from heaven (Revelation 12:9)?

We can say with certainty that we are not like God. While we may make gods out of ourselves, we lack His infinite majesty, His absolute holiness, and possess, at best, a minuscule shadow of any of the divine attributes. It's because we are not like God that we are born as His enemies, as children of wrath who deserve nothing good.

Yet if you ask a small Christian child who they think is like God, you'll probably hear the reply, "Jesus!" And as our creeds confess, that's exactly correct. The Son of God is like God because He is God. Among all people who've ever lived, only the Son is like the Father.

Perhaps that's why the Spirit moved John to tell of "Michael and his angels" at war with Satan. Only One who is truly like God in His own nature can command God's holy angels. Maybe Jesus "saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" because He was at the forefront of the battle.

But while that's interesting speculation, we still face the basic question: Who is like God? Jesus, yes--but also all who believe in Him. This isn't the false likeness promised by the devil (Genesis 3:5). Nor are we like Him according to might and power nor even the fact of our holiness. But we are like Him because He credits Christ's righteousness to the faithful and calls us holy as He Himself is holy. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Jesus, send Your angel legions When the foe would us enslave. Hold us fast when sin assaults us; Come, then Lord, Your people save. Overthrow at last the dragon; Send him to his fiery grave. (Christ, the Lord of Hosts, Unshaken, LSB 521:6)


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