Peter Barnes: Matthew 18:10-14
(8 October 2017)
SERMON NOTES: GOD CARES FOR HIS LITTLE ONES (Matthew 18:10-14)
The parable about the shepherd with the 100 sheep, and one going astray is found in Luke 15:1-7 and in Matthew 18:12-14. In Luke 15 it deals with conversion more than backsliding whereas Matthew 18:12-14 deals with reclaiming the backslider more than converting the unbeliever. Luke 15 is evangelistic; Matthew 18 is pastoral.
- God’s angels care for them and have access to God.
– 18:10; the NEB has ‘guardian angels’. The little ones believe in Christ (18:6). See Ps.34:7; 91:11; Heb.1:14.
Thomas Binney’s hymn, Eternal Light:
The spirits that surround Thy throne
May bear the burning bliss,
But that is surely theirs alone,
For they have never, never known
A fallen world like this.
- God’s care is illustrated by a shepherd’s care for even one sheep.
– 18:12-13; some manuscripts do not have verse 11, ‘For the Son of Man came to save the lost’, from Luke 19:10).
– rejoicing with greater joy over the stray being found.
– Spurgeon: ‘We may not even think harshly of wandering ones.’
- God does not will that any of His little ones perish.
– 18:14; see Ezek.33:11; John 18:9.
– when we are trying to reassure someone about something, we often say the same sort of thing a number of different ways.