| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 54 - Page 91 of 210 Index | Zoom | |
18: 10 - 19: 8.
pp. 21 - 25
The Lord Jesus continues His object lesson with the little child by saying:
"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" (Matt. 18: 10, N.I.V.).
It is a Scriptural fact that angelic beings have been placed by God over nations
(Daniel 10: 13; 12: 1) and evidently Satan has his spiritual emissaries in opposition, as
this chapter reveals. Is it true to say, from Matt. 18:, that children have their guardian
angels? This could be deduced from the Lord's words and the Jews certainly believed in
guardian angels. What is clear is that God is concerned about children in their
helplessness and also child-like believers.
Verse 11 is omitted by several important authorities. It occurs in Luke 19: 10 and
seems to have been inserted in Matthew by a copyist to make an introduction to the
parable of the lost sheep which follows (Matt. 18: 12-14). This reveals that every
single sheep is known to the Lord. If only one strays, He is greatly concerned and will
make every effort to recover it and will rejoice when it is restored. Individual believers
are not lost in a crowd where God is concerned and one is amazed how He knows and
cares for each one individually.
The way God deals with the erring sheep leads on to the way that a person should deal
with his erring brother:
"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of
you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take
one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two
or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses
to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector" (15-17,
This advice is very necessary, for it is a sad experience that believers do disagree,
often with disastrous results. The first thing that the wronged person should do is to meet
the offender privately and discuss the matter. Talking about him behind his back is
useless. The advice given by the apostle Paul is much to the point here (Gal. 6: 1). The
next step is to take others as witnesses if the private meeting is without result, and if this
does not solve the matter then the appeal is to the "church".
We ask the reader to turn back to the exposition of chapter 16: regarding the word
"church". It certainly cannot mean the Gentile church of today which was not in
existence, but refers to the synagogue or local court (see Acts 19: 39).