Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Do we have guardian angels?

“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" (Matthew 18:10).

During our Acts 2:42 gathering on the evening of March 8th the question was asked: "Do we have guardian angels?" I responded by saying in essence that while we do read in the Bible of angels that work on behalf of human beings, I did not know of any text that stated we each have an angel assigned to us. I did receive an email a few days afterwards asking me if Jesus’ words from Matthew 18:10 was a reference to guardian angels, or to be more specific if - “the word 'their' seems to say they belong to the little ones.”

First of all - this is a great question! I love questions that make me think and force me to do some study. After doing some research I found that the word “their” in
Matthew 18:10 is a collective pronoun in the Greek, and refers to the fact that believers are served by angels in general. Nowhere in Scripture does it state that an angel was assigned to an individual. Sometimes angels were sent to individuals, but no mention is ever made of that assignment being permanent. Historically the Jews had fully developed the belief in guardian angels during the period between the Old and New Testaments. This belief was carried on by some of the early church fathers who believed that not only did each person have a guardian angel, but also each person had a demon assigned to him/her – again with no explicit scriptural basis for it.

Do we have guardian angels? The Bible does not emphatically answer whether or not each follower of Jesus Christ has a guardian angel assigned to him/her. Maybe the real question before us is this: If we truly have a sovereign, providential, omniscient, omnipotent, all-loving, graceful and merciful God who watches over us, does it really matter whether or not there is a finite “guardian angel” protecting us?

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