Angels Watching? – Matt 17-18

Chapter 17 contains the story of the transfiguration, with Moses and Elijah appearing to symbolize the transition from “Moses and the prophets” to the new covenant. At the end of the chapter, when Jesus and the disciples came to Capernaum,  verse 24 says that the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter to inquire whether Jesus would pay the tax. Every man over 20 years of age had to pay a tax during the yearly census for the support of the tabernacle. But Jesus already knew what Peter’s conversation had been about when he came inside. Jesus’ question was “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” Of course, Jesus did provide means for the tax to be paid. But his point was that the temple was the house of God, and Jesus is His son.

The Transfiguration Lodovico Carracci 1594

The Transfiguration Lodovico Carracci 1594 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chapter 18 is a chapter full of lessons about temptation and forgiveness. But verse 10 is the source of much discussion and even some puzzlement. Don’t be distracted by the absence of verse 11 in some versions. The verse is not found in the best early manuscripts, and is widely thought to have been included by mistake for Luke 19:10.  But verse 10 of this chapter has Jesus telling the disciples “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.” The verse does not mean that every one has his own guardian angel. The context tells us the apostles that they are to watch over the “sheep.” Angels are given whatever “duties” God may assign for them, it’s true. And we cannot fully understand what their role is in every situation. But it is a mistake to teach people that everyone has their own. If that were truly the case, some of them could be said to not be doing a very good job, don’t you think?

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Matt 16, Matt 17, Matt 18, Matt 19, Matt 20

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

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