Matthew 18:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 18:10, NIV: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven."

Matthew 18:10, ESV: "“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, KJV: "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."

Matthew 18:10, NASB: "'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."

Matthew 18:10, NLT: "'Beware that you don't look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father."

Matthew 18:10, CSB: ""See to it that you don't despise one of these little ones, because I tell you that in heaven their angels continually view the face of my Father in heaven."

What does Matthew 18:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Scholars and commentators offer several interpretations for what Jesus might mean in this verse. He seems to be warning the disciples not to despise or disrespect any believers in Jesus. Some Bible teachers believe Jesus is speaking of actual little children, but most agree that Jesus is talking about His little ones, meaning all believers in Jesus, whatever their ages.

Why would the disciples ever despise or disrespect another believer in Jesus? It's hard to know, but Jesus may just be describing the way that human beings often treat each other. Jesus-followers, though, must not despise or be hurtful to each other in the normal ways of humans. Jesus seems to be telling His disciples to elevate the value they place on other believers because of the value God places on those believers. After all, Jesus says, their angels always see the face of God the Father in heaven.

Over the years, people have pointed to this verse as evidence that every believer has his or her own "guardian angel." This verse does not suggest that, however. For one thing, those angels are in heaven seeing the face of God. They are not on earth protecting the believers. That doesn't mean it could not be true that specific angels or groups of angels are assigned to specific Christians, just that it can't be taken from this verse.

Jesus' point seems to be that these angels are connected in some way to these human believers while also being in the presence of God's glory. As such, every believer is valuable and worthy of respect.

Some Bible scholars offer one other possible reading of this verse. They interpret the word "angels" to mean the spirits of those believers instead of actual angels. In that case, Jesus would be saying that the human believers we see on earth are also looking at the face of God in heaven or will be at some point. In other words, God has valued them so highly that He has already reserved a place in heaven for them. Who are we to disrespect them now?