Jesus said that the angels of the little children always see the face of God in heaven. That simply implies that it is not all angels in heaven that always see the face of God and it is not the angels of everybody on earth that sees the face of God. There obviously will be some criteria to qualify as one whose angels will see the face of God, but we certainly know of one here, namely being a little child. What privilege!
But, is there any advantage to this? Any big deal in enjoying such privilege?
It will all make sense when we consider the genesis of this statement. The disciples had an argument among themselves. They wanted to know who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. If this is the ultimate pursuit-entering the kingdom of heaven, both here on earth and hereafter-then why don’t we make the best of it? How can one aim to be the greatest in that kingdom? They decided to ask Jesus; ‘who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ Jesus is the greatest teacher there ever is! If He is not teaching with a parable, He is teaching with practical demonstration. He effectively showed them that the greatest in the kingdom is paradoxically the most overlooked and uncounted in this world. A little child. How downcast their faces would have been. Man by nature loves to earn his pass. It tickles our fancy to say; ‘I did it.’ I also believe that is why Christ is not appealing to many, especially the intellectual, the rich, the powerful, the hardworking one, the one that can help himself. He invites you to declare your failure and helplessness. Your self-efforts and self-righteousness are but a filthy rag, counting for nothing. So Christ showed them that the way to what they want to achieve is not a race to be the strongest, but to be the weakest, as a little helpless child. It was in continuing to buttress that He brought out the lesson we are pursuing today. Consider that the disciples may have been disappointed by the answer they received. What value is there for a full grown adult to aspire to be like a little child? Jesus buttressed the point. He went on to reel out the values in taking such position. And one of those great values is that though they may be overlooked here, in heaven, they weigh so much that the angels assigned to serve them see the very face of God always.
However the description started with Jesus admonishing the adult disciples to seek to be like little children. The implication is that whatever qualities that qualify the little children to this enviable honour is attributable by adults; it is neither in the size of the body nor the number of years spent on earth. So anybody can qualify for an angel that sees the face of God always, by becoming like a little child.
The Amplified version of the Bible identifies four key attributes that could help us on this upward journey to becoming a child. Lowliness (humility), love (loving), trust (trusting), and forgiveness are these key childlike qualities that the one who is a child must have.
So if I could learn to trust God explicitly, no matter the events that present themselves before me to persuade me to the contrary; trusting Him for my life and needs and daily living; trusting Him without suspicion, and taking every one of His words at face value, nothing doubting, just like a little child… if I can trust my brethren, not suspecting that they don’t always mean well for me, not taking them as competition, if I should stop second guessing every move of my covenant brother or sister(I do not advocate stupidity or deliberate foolishness here), but learn to trust both God and my brethren just like a child, then I tick one box.
If I can be lowly, very humble to God and my fellow man. Come down from my high horse, not putting in front of me my achievements and endowments; intelligence, beauty, eloquence, giftings, if I could think less of my treasures and acquisitions and social class but consider the person of low estate, if I could submit totally under God and become approachable and not proud, I tick the second box.
If I can love God unconditionally, love him with all my heart, all my mind and all my soul, if I can love Him passionately (many times we do not consider that what Jesus is asking for is passionate love. Jesus loves us passionately, not loosely and He demands nothing less. The way you feel it in your bones when you love a girl or boy, the way you feel it when you love your spouse, the way you cry sometimes when you are alone thinking about how deeply you love him or her, the way you sit and imagine what you can do to show them how much you love them, the way you stay alone and think about them and smile to yourself, the way you allow their thoughts fill your heart, your entire being, the way you can’t take a decision without running it by them, the way you don’t want to fall out with them, the way you want to reconcile with him or her whenever there is a misunderstanding, the way you want to talk to him or her a hundred times a day…that is the way Jesus wants you to love Him. Nothing less. Actually, everything much more.) And then, love my fellow human being as myself, consider the person of low estate as equal to me and not less of a human being, consider the rich man or the one in power as not my enemy, consider the unbeliever as one deserving of love and prayer and compassion, I tick the third box.
If I could learn to forgive quickly and even urgently, if I could learn to drop offences as quickly as they rise, consider nobody worthy enough to tie me down with their offences and bad behavior, if I could learn to forgive my family and friends no matter what they do to me, even dare to forgive them before they offend me, if I could learn to search my heart to make sure that there is no offence there from far behind, and that always, I try to forgive every offence and disappointments, then I tick the fourth box.
When I have ticked the four boxes, then I am qualified to be seen as a child by Jesus, and hence would be considered worthy of the honour of an angel who sees the face of God always. Jesus Himself says; Do not despise these kind of people, don’t joke with them, do not look down on them, they may appear weak and fragile, but their angels see the very face of God always. Remember that this description answers the question, ‘who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ there you have the answer. The child is. The one who has made himself like the little child is. Your dreams are still valid. However, the only way up is down. May God help us to mind the important details of the kingdom.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE: Math. 18: 1-10; 22:37