I believe children do have guardian angels. But that’s not what Jesus was saying. The context of this verse tells us Jesus was saying something even more profound. Jesus brought the child before the crowd that day because the issue under discussion was “who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (verse 1). Jesus said that unless you become like a little child “you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Again, the sentimental interpretation of that verse is that you have to become innocent and trusting like a kid. But that’s not what Jesus meant. He was talking about humility. Even today kids aren’t influential and powerful in this world. Their theories and thoughts on the economy and politics are not sought out. They are not put on panels for the big interview shows on television. They are not put in charge of large corporations or elected to Congress. In our society kids are supposedly valued, but they are not respected as important and influential. In Jesus’ day they were seen as even less important. So when he said you have to become like a little child to enter God’s kingdom He meant you have to humble yourself, admit your unworthiness and your need for a Savior, and you need to be willing to be viewed as unimportant by the world. You have to be willing to be seen as a “little one.”
What that means is that the “little ones” whose angels always see the face of the Father in heaven are all those who are in the kingdom of God! The little ones are God’s adopted children. Everyone who puts faith in Jesus and follows him is a little one. They all have angels who have continual access to the Father in heaven. That means that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have an angel assigned to you, and angel who is in continual communication with the Father. Whatever the world may think of you God places enormously high value on you, enough to assign one of his angels to you and give that angel constant access to the throne!
How does that make you feel? I have to tell you as I reflected on those verses it made me feel pretty good. I have an angel in heaven who continually sees the face of the Father. The world doesn’t think much of me. Google my name on the internet and you’ll have to do some work to find out anything at all about me. Take a random survey of 1000 Americans and ask them to identify me and chances are excellent that exactly zero percent of them will have ever heard of me. Beyond a very small number of people I am simply not important. I am truly a “little one” in this world. To add to the joy, I have had people who frankly “looked down” on me. As you likely know some of those at my previous church did so. That didn’t feel real good. But according to Jesus, while most of the world takes no note of me, and some in the world think ill of me, God thinks I’m so important he has assigned an agent from the heavenly Secret Service to guard me. So if someone decides to “look down” on me, I can say “go right ahead, but to be honest, I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes. You apparently don’t know who you’re messing with.”
Perhaps that’s not an especially noble thought. I don’t know. I’m just being honest here. That statement by Jesus causes me to shake my head in wonder. Can God really care about me that much? Well, either he does, or Jesus wasn’t telling the truth. I’m going to go with God actually caring about me that much. That also means that everywhere I go, that heavenly Secret Service agent is right there looking out for me. There are a lot of fearful things in this world. But no matter what happens, that angel who is continually communicating with the Lord of All, is paving the way ahead of me. Psalm 34:7 says, “the angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” David asked in Psalm 27:1, “whom then shall I fear?” The implication is no one. I don’t need to fear anyone or anything because an angel of the Lord is always right there with me…always! You know, being one of God’s “little ones” is a really cool thing!