"...their angels..." Matt 18

Discussion in 'Exegetical Forum' started by Scott Bushey, Feb 16, 2005.

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  1. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Mat 18:10 See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in Heaven continually look on the face of My Father in Heaven.

    Do I have angels?
     
  2. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    No, you don't Scott. Everyone else does though.
     
  3. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    I'm sorry, just teasing, of course you do. I'll take a third post to explain what I believe the text means and that will give me one more gratuitous post count. :pilgrim:
     
  4. BobVigneault

    BobVigneault Bawberator Staff Member

    The thrust of Jesus' teaching here is not to establish a doctrine of angels but to state firmly that there is no spiritual hierarchy before God. The apostles had the same standing as the children present and vice versa.

    It is probably impossible to come up with the meaning of the angel puzzle because there is not enough scripture regarding angels to develope an explicit teaching. Here is what I think was mean't:

    Angels are ministering spirits. We aren't to be concerned with how they minister or pray to angels or even spend much time thinking on them. We ARE to be assured that God dispenses His angels as necessary to minister and protect and we should find peace in that thought. God will dispense an angel just as quickly and assuredly to protect a young child as he would for an adult, even an apostle.

    Children are just as important to God as any in his kingdom.
     
  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritan Board Doctor

    Bob,
    You're too funny. For the record, I understand your sdense (sic) of humor! hahahahaha :p

    Thanks for the reply and your ideas!
     
  6. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Consider also this possibility:
    (I'm not committed here to anything except an anti-personal "guardian angel" position)
    This is the grand gospel-chapter on the church and church discipline (it follows closely Peter's confession, Mt 16, and inaugurates Jesus private teachings to the disciples after withdrawing from the multitudes). It is possible that Jesus is emphasizing something similar to Maxdetail's point above, only with reference to the human "ministers" (translation of angelos, rather than transliteration). In that case what Jesus may be saying is that, so far from despising those who are like children (Mt 18:3) namely believers, remember that their ministers are communing with God in prayer, even beholding his face in heaven!

    Think about that one...
     
  7. Peter

    Peter Puritan Board Junior

    Fascinating. I've heard one interpretation of the angels that surround the throne of God in Rev 4-6 is that they are Ministers so it doesnt sound to strange to me. (I dont accept that interpretation though:bigsmile: the beasts better fit that postion.)

    So why do you have an aversion to the personal "guardian angel" position?
     
  8. Bladestunner316

    Bladestunner316 Puritan Board Doctor

    maybe cause it sounds romish.

    What about In daniel when he says that Michael the Archangel "1 "At that time Michael shall stand up,
    The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; " From Daniel Twelve??

    And I know here are those interpret angels out of the bible I mean that Michael is supposed to be aka Jesus but in the OT the preincarnate Christ is mentioned as "Angel of the Lord". And Jesus is King of kings not a mere prince.

    blade
     
  9. cupotea

    cupotea Puritan Board Junior

    Calvin says:

    "Whether or not each believer has a single angel assigned to him for his defence, I dare not positively affirm. When Daniel introduces the angel of the Persians and the angel of the Greeks, he undoubtedly intimates that certain angels are appointed as a kind of presidents over kingdoms and provinces. Again, when Christ says that the angels of children always behold the face of his Father, he insinuates that there are certain angels to whom their safety has been intrusted. But I know not if it can be inferred from this, that each believer has his own angel. This, indeed, I hold for certain, that each of us is cared for, not by one angel merely, but that all with one consent watch for our safety." (Institutes, Bk I, Chapter 14, #7)

    He concludes by saying "After all, it is not worth while anxiously to investigate a point which does not greatly concern us. If any one does not think it enough to know that all the orders of the heavenly host are perpetually watching for his safety, I do not see what he could gain by knowing that he has one angel as a special guardian." (I, 14, 7).

    Don't you just love the way Calvin shrugs subjects off? :)

    [Edited on 2-17-2005 by Cottonball]
     
  10. Bladestunner316

    Bladestunner316 Puritan Board Doctor

    I like his answer and I dont like how he shrugs it off. I agree the angeloology is not super important to salvation in and through Christ Jesus. But we spend countless effort and time involved in the study of ecclisiology, the role of ministers, Church history, and Fathers of the Church from OT times to post NT times. But yet are brothers in arms so to speak angels are shrugged off. I understand the concern over new age influences on angelology as well as the issues of human worship and images. But these issues have been there for years upon years. The OT seems to clearly deal with angelology with no qualms and details the heroic angels with no names but 'messenger' who aid and help Gods people and selected ministers. It does us and the church an injustice to ignore our fellow angelic brothers so to speak not to worship them or give them and powers(s) over the sovereign work of the Lord of Hosts and Men. But they are these seeking not worship and yet tirelessly seeking the the Glory of our Lord in their service to Him in aiding us. I for one thnak God for them. For the angels who have for years helped the church to furthur proclaim our anthem of "For Christ's Crown and Covenant" alot can be gleaned by seeing how these fellow workers just do the work they are given as opposed to their human counterparts who bicker in the shade. I for one look to the day where I can in peace speek to the Lord in Heaven and take fellowship with Moses, Luther, and Michael the Archangel.

    In Christ
    Blade
     
  11. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Don't stone me now...
    But I think Michael = the Trinity's second Person, the Son
     
  12. Bladestunner316

    Bladestunner316 Puritan Board Doctor

    Thats what we condemnt the JW's over I dont understand why any in the reformed community would believe that interpretation.

    Im not going to toss any stones.

    blade
     
  13. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    I don't have a problem with angels. I don't have a problem with taking the passage literally... that some angels are, if not ministers of specific children, ministers to children in a special way.

    My dad's company published a prayer request a few years back for a little girl who had been kidnapped in Vermont in mid-winter. Her parents were Christians. They found the little girl seven days later in a snowdrift-- she had nothing on, and was wrapped in a very thin blanket. She had to have been in the snowdrift for several days, in sub-zero temperatures. But she didn't have any frostbite, and when they asked her if she had been cold, and frightened, she said no-- that a man had come into the snowdrift, and wrapped his arms around her, and kept her warm, and told her they were coming for her. It was an impossibility for a human to have done this.

    Personally, I have no problem with that; I think it's incredible how much God loved that little girl and how well He took care of her through His ministers, when her family couldn't. I think it's Matt. 18:10.
     
  14. Bladestunner316

    Bladestunner316 Puritan Board Doctor

    AMEN
     
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