The author of Acts indicated that the Sadducees say (Σαδδουκαῖοι γὰρ λέγουσιν) that there is no resurrection (μὴ εἶναι ἀνάστασιν), nor angels (μήτε ἄγγελον), nor spirit (μήτε πνεῦμα). The Pharisees (Φαρισαῖοι δὲ) acknowledged or professed (ὁμολογοῦσιν) all of them (τὰ ἀμφότερα). There was a clear distinction between the Pharisees and the Sadducees about the bodily resurrection. The Pharisees also favored angels and spirits more than the Sadducees. Thus, there was a real distinction between the two Jewish groups. Were you aware that Pharisees believed in angels and spirits?
Luke indicated that Jesus gave an explanation. He said that in the resurrection they would not be able to die anymore or be mortal (οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀποθανεῖν ἔτι δύνανται), because they would be like angels (ἰσάγγελοι γάρ εἰσιν). Once again, this is unique usage of the word ἰσάγγελοι in the Greek biblical literature that means equal to angels or like the angels. They would be children or sons of God (καὶ υἱοί εἰσιν Θεοῦ), because they were children or sons of the resurrection (τῆς ἀναστάσεως υἱοὶ ὄντες). This is quite a profound theological statement. The resurrected humans would be like angels so that marriage and procreation would be out of the question. Both Matthew, chapter 22:30, with Mark, chapter 12:25, almost word for word, have simpler statements about humans being angels in heaven. Mark simply said that they would all be like angels in heaven (ἀλλ’ εἰσὶν ὡς ἄγγελοι ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς). Matthew simply said they would all be like angels in heaven (ὡς ἄγγελοι ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ εἰσιν). Thus, these humans would take on an angelic way of life, with no reason to procreate in marriage. Would you like a sexless angelic heaven?
This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels. Luke indicated that Jesus said that this poor man, Lazarus, died (ἐγένετο δὲ ἀποθανεῖν τὸν πτωχὸν). He was carried away by the angels (καὶ ἀπενεχθῆναι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀγγέλων) to be in the bosom of Abraham (εἰς τὸν κόλπον Ἀβραάμ). The rich man also died (ἀπέθανεν δὲ καὶ ὁ πλούσιος) and he was buried (καὶ ἐτάφη). Both men died, the rich and the poor man. However, the poor man, Lazarus went to be with Abraham in his bosom, while the rich man just plain old died and was buried. This is a clear acknowledgement of an afterlife, rarely mentioned elsewhere. What are your expectations after your earthly death?
This ending is not quite the same as in Matthew, chapter 4:11, where angels came to wait on Jesus. Here there are no angels, but the show was over for now. Luke said that the devil had finished every test (Καὶ συντελέσας πάντα πειρασμὸν). Thus, he departed from Jesus (ὁ διάβολος ἀπέστη ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ) until a later opportunity or another time (ἄχρι καιροῦ). The devil had failed to convince Jesus in any of these temptations. He was gone for now, but would return again. Jesus had passed his first test. Score one for the good guys.
Without any specific directions, Luke said that these shepherds hurried to Bethlehem (καὶ ἦλθαν σπεύσαντες). There was no indication of what happened to the sheep that they were watching. Nevertheless, they found Mary (καὶ ἀνεῦραν τήν τε Μαριὰμ) and Joseph (καὶ τὸν Ἰωσὴφ), with the child lying in a manger (καὶ τὸ βρέφος κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ), just as the angels had told them.
Luke said that these angels left the shepherds to go back to heaven (Καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἀπῆλθον ἀπ’ αὐτῶν εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν οἱ ἄγγελοι), since their mission was complete. Meanwhile, the shepherds said to one another (οἱ ποιμένες ἐλάλουν πρὸς ἀλλήλους) that they wanted to go to Bethlehem (Διέλθωμεν δὴ ἕως Βηθλεὲμ). There they could see what had taken place (αὶ ἴδωμεν τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο τὸ γεγονὸς ὃ). They would be able to see what the Lord had made known to them (ὃ ὁ Κύριος ἐγνώρισεν ἡμῖν). However, there was no indication of where in Bethlehem they would find this new born baby.
This is where the famous Latin song sung at Roman Catholic masses during the Liturgy of the Word “Gloria in excelsis Deo” comes from. Luke indicated that these angels were saying (καὶ λεγόντων) or singing “Glory to God in the highest (Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις Θεῷ)! On earth (καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς), peace be among the men (εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις) whom he favors (εὐδοκίας), those of good will.”
Matthew, chapter 28:2-7, is the only gospel story to explicitly describe the actions and the angel at the tomb. In Luke, chapter 24:4-7, there were 2 men in dazzling clothes standing in the tomb, who explained everything. John, chapter 20:11-13, had 2 angels talk to Mary Magdalene in the tomb. Here Mark said that as the 3 women entered the tomb (καὶ εἰσελθοῦσαι εἰς τὸ μνημεῖον), they saw a young man (εἶδον νεανίσκον) sitting on the right side in the tomb (καθήμενον ἐν τοῖς δεξιοῖς). He was wearing a white robe (περιβεβλημένον στολὴν λευκήν). Thus, these 3 women were astonished or greatly amazed (καὶ ἐξεθαμβήθησαν) at what they saw. Where was the body of Jesus?
This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 24:36, but not in Luke. Interesting enough, Mark indicated that Jesus said that no one would know the day or the hour (Περὶ δὲ τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης ἢ τῆς ὥρας οὐδεὶς οἶδεν) of the end times. Jesus emphasized that not even the angels in heaven (οὐδὲ οἱ ἄγγελοι ἐν οὐρανῶ) or the Son (οὐδὲ ὁ Υἱός) knew when this was going to happen. Only the Father knew this (εἰ μὴ ὁ Πατὴρ). This was such a big secret that no one knew when it was going to happen, since only the Father knew the exact day and time. Thus, not even the Son knew this was going to take place. Thus, this is another instance of the Son being subordinate in knowledge to the Father.
This is almost word for word, in Matthew, chapter 24:31. Mark said that the Son of Man would send out angels (καὶ τότε ἀποστελεῖ τοὺς ἀγγέλους). Thus, the angels were the apostles or sent ones for gathering the chosen ones. There was no mention of a trumpet call here, as in Matthew. These angels would gather his elect or chosen ones (καὶ ἐπισυνάξει τοὺς ἐκλεκτοὺς αὐτοῦ) from the four winds (ἐκ τῶν τεσσάρων ἀνέμων), from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven (ἀπ’ ἄκρου γῆς ἕως ἄκρου οὐρανοῦ). The Son of Man would send his apostolic angels to gather the chosen ones from all over the place.