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Matthew 18:10

Posted 10/12/21, by Dan Vis

In yesterday's blog post, I suggested part of the ministry of Jesus involved revealing the invisible, spiritual realm to our limited human vision. And specifically, that He wanted to open our eyes to the reality of angels.
Jesus certainly interacted with angels during His time on earth. He also talked about them a fair bit. On one instance, He made this striking statement to His disciples:

Matthew 18:10
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

Sadly, it didn't seem to register with them however, for just one chapter later, those same disciples are seen rebuking mothers for bringing their children to have Jesus bless them (Matthew 19:13Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.). Regardless, this verse tells us a few things about angels.

First, it seems specific angels are assigned to specific individuals. This verse tells us it is "their angels," the angels of these little ones, who stand before God continually. This is probably the best verse in the Bible to suggest we are each given a specific "guardian" angel. In fact, it's pretty much the only one I can think of.

Second, it seems these angels are especially involved in overseeing small children. And the fact is, we certainly see this in the life of Jesus. An angel was sent to persuade Joseph to marry Mary, when she was found pregnant (Matthew 1:20But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.), to instruct Joseph to flee to Egypt to protect Jesus as a small child (Matthew 2:13And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.), and later, to tell him it was safe to return (Matthew 2:19But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,). The life of Jesus makes visible how angels are involved in shaping our lives.

We may not literally see angels today doing these kinds of things, but that doesn't mean it's not happening. If Jesus indeed came to pull back the curtain on the invisible world, then there's every reason to think, angels where there orchestrating events to bring us into the world as well. How your parents met, perhaps. A move to a new state. A near accident, or one that could have been much worse. Or some other pivotal detail. Looking back on my life, I can see several critical junctures that had a formative impact on who I became. And I suspect angels were on hand to guide me through those.

And last, while the verse doesn't say so explicitly--there seems to be something special about how angels care for these little ones, as opposed to us adults. Specifically, angels seem to work unceasingly for them. They may not prevent every bad circumstance, or hurtful event--but these angels are there constantly, watching their assigned children, and working within whatever constraints limit them.

As for those more mature in years, I suspect it's not always the same. That angels are able to work more fully in the early years of our life, because we are still so full of innocence. But when we reach the point we are able to begin making wrong choices, hurtful choices, sinful choices, I fear angels must sometimes turn their face away. And the more we engage in these kinds of immoral behavior, the more interrupted their ministry on our behalf is forced to become. At some point, we may even be able to drive them away completely.

Which just suggests how important it is to keep our hearts right before God. That we maintain a childlike innocency, a clear conscience, short accounts. That we never choose to go somewhere our angel might fear to tread. To do something that would force him to divert his gaze.

If we can preserve our heart before God, we can experience the unbroken ministration of angels on our behalf, as adults in the same way every small child enjoys.

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Posted by Dan Vis on 10/13/21
That's a good thought Valerie, that the more we can discern the unselfish and tireless service of these holy angels, the more we can seek to emulate it. Nice!
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 10/13/21
I’m ever mindful of the presence of holy beings who are always ministering for us from love. Selfless, holy love. It is so comforting. I’m encouraged by the thought of service from a heart of love to be as loving as I can through God’s Spirit within me. That’s the only way.
Posted by Dan Vis on 10/12/21
That's a great verse about angels Karen. We'll talk more fully about the interest angels have in the Gospel, and our salvation specifically a little later this week. This verse fits in nicely with that idea...

And that is what I was thinking about yesterday JoAnn, that we can learn by faith to see the angels at work in our life. I love your testimony. It will be amazing to hear stories of how angels worked in our life, behind the scenes, when we get to heaven at last. But we can start to enjoy those stories by faith even now...
Posted by JoAnn Moon on 10/12/21
One thing I really will enjoy someday is to know all that our angels did for us while we are on this earth. I have had two instances where my angel protected me and one time where I was comforted by my angel. These experiences are very precious to me and when I think doubtful thoughts they are experiences that boost my faith.
Posted by Karen Yang on 10/12/21
Thank you for the thought that angels want to minister for us in unbroken and uninterrupted work.
I Peter 1:12Unto 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. says that it is “which things the angels desire to look into”.

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