The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 84

Yeshua’s Preparation of the Emissaries for the End ~ Part 6

In our last post, we examined Yeshua’s Death is Again Foretold. This post looks at several topics starting with Yeshua’s Concern for the Young.

Yeshua’s Concern for the Young

36 He took a child and stood him among them. Then He put His arms around him and said to them, 37 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes Me welcomes not Me but the One who sent Me.[1]

The attitude of heart Yeshua is teaching does not even overlook a lowly child (at times marginalized in ancient societies) but welcomes, and thereby cares for, such a little one in His name. In contrast to the status-seeking of the talmidim (v. 34), Yeshua shows them they should willingly take on lowly, often unnoticed tasks and care for those with minor status worldwide. Anyone who does this, Yeshua says, welcomes Me and, in so doing, also receives the Father (the One who sent Me). Humbly caring for people of lowly status out of obedience to Yeshua will be rewarded by rich personal fellowship with both the Son and the Father.

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. [2] 10 See that you never despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven are continually seeing the face of my Father in heaven.

Their angels in heaven are constantly seeing the face of my Father. The imagery recalls Oriental court ceremonies. The verse does not say that each believer has a guardian angel, but that recent Believers as a group have angels in heaven. The apocryphal book of Tobit (c. 300 BCE) speaks of guardian angels; Daniel and Zechariah mention angels of particular countries. The talmidim praying for Kefa thought that the knock at the door was that of “his angel” (Acts 12:15), but their ideas were not necessarily correct. There may be guardian angels, but Scripture does not prove it. Angels have many functions concerning believers: ministering to God on their behalf (Messianic Jews 1:14), protecting them (Psalm 91:11, Mt 4:6), overseeing their worship (1 Corinthians 11:10), in judgment, separating them from the wicked (Mattityahu 13:41, 24:31). Their function here is not stated.

(11 Some manuscripts include verse 11: For the Son of Man came to save the lost.) 12 Whats your opinion? What will somebody do who has a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away? Wont he leave the ninety-nine on the hillsides and go off to find the stray?

The Greek verb used here, planaō  (“to go astray” or “wander away”), is often connected to people who abandon the faith.

13 And if he happens to find it? Yes! I tell you, he is happier over it than over the ninety-nine that never strayed! 14 Thus, your heavenly Father does not want even one of these little ones to be lost. [3]

In our next post, we continue to examine Yeshua’s Preparation of the Emissaries for the End by looking at Works Done in Yeshua’s Name and other encounters.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1]  Mark 9:36–37.
[2]  Mattityahu 18:6.
[3] Mattityahu 18:10–14.

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