1 Peter – Chapter One XXXV

by Ed Urzi

“To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things which angels desire to look into” (1 Peter 1:12).

In the midst of this discussion regarding God’s messages to His prophets, 1 Peter 1:12 offers an interesting aside: “These are things which even the angels would like to understand” (GNT).

While the word “angel” is generally associated with a supernatural being today, this word carries the idea of a messenger in the original Biblical languages. Thus, we can say that these angelic beings serve as emissaries, representatives, or agents for God. Although angels possess capabilities that far exceed those of ordinary human beings, 1 Peter 1:12 tells us that they have something in common with these ancient prophets: they each failed to grasp the scope of God’s plan for humanity.

That plan thus serves as a subject of interest among the members of the angelic realm. This likely includes fallen angels, as well as those angels who continue to serve God. One group undoubtedly seeks insight into God’s plan as a means of honoring the One whom they serve. The other may be seeking actionable intelligence in an attempt to counter God’s agenda.

This passage also tells us that angels are not passively interested in God’s plan for humanity, as if one were listening to the broadcast of a sporting event while performing some other task. Instead, these celestial beings hold a great degree of interest in God’s redemptive plan. (1) One source offers a wide-ranging perspective on this subject…

“…Scripture indicates there is a sense in which all angels may be considered celestial spectators of planet earth. Indeed, 1 Peter 1:12 tells us that all the angels ‘long to look into’ things related to God’s redemption of humankind. This is a topic of great fascination for the entire angelic realm. [a]

We must remember that angels have been observing earth from the very beginning. They were present when man was first created. They witnessed the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Throughout the Old Testament era they witnessed one prophet after another speak forth words regarding the Redeemer who would be born in Bethlehem. They witnessed the incarnation and watched as Christ -the One they had served since their creation- took on human flesh. They also witnessed His cruel execution on the cross of Calvary and His glorious resurrection from the dead.

In short, the angels -from the very start- have been celestial spectators of the unfolding drama of human redemption being played out on planet earth.” (2)

(1) See G3879 parakupto https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/g3879/kjv/tr/0-1/

(2) [a] See Louis A. Barbieri, First and Second Peter (Chicago: Moody Press, 1979), p. 40. Quoted in Rhodes, Ron, Angels Among Us Copyright © 1994 by Harvest House Publishers [p. 129]