Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Each a guardian angel?

Biblical scholars, theologians and evangelic preachers throughout time seem to have let fall a lot of ink discussing the words of Christ in Matthew 18:10:

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” Matthew 18:10 NIV

free and unattributable

There seems to be few themes running through the discussion of that verse.  One theme tackles the issue of what is meant by “little ones”. American evangelic preacher Billy Graham, in his book Angels, God’s Secret Agents possibly takes up the notion of “little ones” being children.  This notion forms from Matthew 18:2 where Jesus calls a child before him so that he may illustrate who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  The expression “little ones” needs to be understood in terms of determining assignment of angels:

"Some believe strongly that each Christian may have his own guardian angel to watch over him or her.  This guardianship possibly begins in infancy, for Jesus said, “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones.  For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven"", p74, Angels, God’s Secret Agents.

John Piper in a post on the Desiring God blog is more direct in identifying “little ones” as followers of Christ (regardless of age):
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones.” They are true believers in Jesus, viewed from the standpoint of their childlike trust in God. They are the heaven-bound children of God. We know this because of the immediate and wider context of the Gospel of Matthew.” (underlining added).
Piper identifies how Christ’s call for the child to come before him is to make an illustrative point rather than a direct point – that is, the child assisted in the illustration of how people needed to “become like little children” Matthew 18:3 NIV.  For example, it was to Nicodemus that Christ said that “you must be born again” John 3:7 NIV.

Piper furthers the point with:

In other words, the text is not about children. It is about those who become like children, and thus enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s about true disciples of Jesus.



So, each Christian, each man, woman and child who has given their life to Christ, has guardianship of angels (not just from Matthew 18:10 but also richly from Psalm 34:7, Psalm 91:11, Hebrews 1:14).  And possibly, Matthew 18:10, indicates a one-to-one relationship between each Christian and an assigned angel in the heavenly realms.  More sweetly, Matthew 18:10 could identify with a multitude assignment of angels per Christian.  Jesus had call on “more than twelve legions of angels” Matthew 26:53 NIV


So, it is plausible that there are guardian angels.  If there can be an angel to a church – each of the seven letters in Revelation 2 is written “To the angel of the church in …..” - then why shan’t there be an angel to a Christian?


This little child is willing to hold that in God’s great majesty and glory the notion of one Christian is to one Guardian Angel is a possibility.  If Christ had call on more than 12,000 angels at a moment it is not unfathomable to think that someone who has taken up Christ’s cross has call on one angel.



Note: all links good at 5 April 2017

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