*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Matthew 18:10 meaning

Jesus warns His disciples not to dismiss or mistreat one of these little ones because their angels are always telling the King of Heaven how they were being treated.

This teaching is unparalleled in the other gospel accounts.

Jesus continues His thoughts about finding, or failing to find greatness in the kingdom of heaven. He did so by returning the subject to these little ones (“mikron”). He likely was still holding the young child as He said these things (Matthew 18:2).

See that you do not despise one of these little ones. This reiterates what Jesus told the disciples

“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea”
(Matthew 18:5-6).

We should not despise or look down upon these little ones. We should treasure and greatly esteem them.

Jesus reveals a reason why we should not despise them. The reason He offers is because their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven. Jesus says that these little ones are represented in heaven by their angels. Their angels are always before the face of Jesus’s Father and has His full attention. Nothing that happens to these little ones, including every way someone treats them goes unnoticed or unrequited by God. Therefore, see to it that you do not despise even one of these little ones.

Here it seems highly probable that Jesus refers to literal children having guardian angels, given the context of Jesus’s words. But it could also be that this principle applies to those of lesser station, which is a greatly comforting thought. This would mean that those who the world does not esteem, those who cannot repay us for rendering them service, have such great value that God assigns angels to watch over them. Keeping that in mind might help us change our perspective about who is truly valuable.

Biblical Text

10 “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.

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