Guardian Angels?

Have you ever wondered about the role of angels in our lives? I was hit this morning when I read Matt. 18:10 where Jesus is teaching his disciples. Notice what he says,

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

The word that stands out to me is “their.” This observation has caused some to teach that children and maybe adults have “guardian” angels. Is this what the text means?

Although there are scholars on both sides of this issue, I think Leon Morris summarizes the issue well when he says,

“Angels (see on 1:20) are heavenly beings, but “their” poses a problem. Jacob referred to an angel who had had concern for him (Gen. 48:16), while in the book of Daniel it seems that each nation has its angel (Dan. 10:13) and in Revelation we are introduced to the angels of churches (Rev. 1:20). Perhaps we should notice further that angels are said to have carried Lazarus to Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22) and to rejoice over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10). Angels are apparently active in and about the affairs of people. It is possible that here guardian angels are meant (NEB translates ‘guardian angels’), with a particular angel watching over each little one. But if this were meant, it would point to something so significant that we would expect references to guardian angels elsewhere, and we do not find them. Calvin regards the suggestion that guardian angels are in mind as ‘weak’ and prefers the idea that ‘to the angels is committed the care of the whole Church and that they succor individual members so far as their necessity and situation demands’ (II, p. 218). We can say no more than that the passage looks like a reference to guardian angels but comes short of proof, and in any case we have no further information on who such angels are or what they do.”

Whatever the truth might be regarding individual guardian angels, we do know that angels are very active in serving God and helping to accomplish his purposes. This reminder has made me pause to consider all that God is doing on my behalf and without my knowledge. This realization makes me very thankful for God’s loving and constant care. I hope that as a result of your consideration of all that is taking place in the spiritual realm your confidence in God’s care for you increases.

Following Jesus with you,

Jeff

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