Always on Guard

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 18:10

These are the words of Jesus speaking to the disciples on the concern for the lost. Though the scriptures surrounding this passage are both comforting and propelling at the same time, as they discuss God’s care and love for all people, 18:10 touched me in an unexpected reading.

The scene is this: The disciples have come to Jesus and have asked Him,”Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus then takes a child and sets him before the disciples and tells them, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” 18:1-4

Jesus is not asking us to act as children with tantrums, crying when we don’t get our way, or being obsessive with toys. He’s not suggesting that we halt our learning processes, or become dependent on our moms and dads. What He is saying is this:

God wants us to be humble in the way that children are humble. Children are humble in the sense that they ultimately know that they are not in charge, they know and admit that they don’t know everything, are willing to ask for help, are comfortable crying out when afraid, and God wants us to be dependent on Him, our heavenly Father.

What does this have to do with passage 18:10?

18:10 follows a listing of things that seems outrageous, but please don’t freak when you read them. Go on, open up a Bible, read them. 18:7-9.    Read it?  Okay, so Jesus is telling us how important it is to avoid things that cause us to sin. If you know that certain situations cause you to stumble, avoid them permanently. 18:10 is another thing to avoid. Don’t despise children. Don’t despise those who are humble before God. 18:10 touched a chord because it speaks of the guardian angels that watch over children. Those angels are always in God’s presence. They know what is taking place in the life of a child, God knows what is taking place and He doesn’t even need angels to know what’s going on in the life of a child. When we despise and feel hatred toward those who are being watched over by God, we are sinning. Guess what? We are all watched over by God. We are called upon to not despise, nor hate, anyone. God knows what is happening in everyone’s life. He cares what is happening and He is paying attention.

We must be careful and on guard against human nature that is fallible. We are all faulty and all capable of hatred. However, we are also capable and created to be humble. We must watch our paths and our thoughts. Verses 18:11-14 are comforting to our faults.  “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”

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