"See that you do not despise one of these little ones ...” (Matthew 18:10)

"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)

Who are 'these little ones'?

The phrase, 'little ones' is being translated from the Greek word, οὗτος (houtos). The problem is, this Greek word doesn't really mean "little ones." It actually means, "these" or "this" or otherwise what was referred to previously.

Jesus is referring to the subject of his statements in Matthew 18:5-7. Here Jesus spoke of spiritual children - that is, those who have humbled themselves to God.

Jesus is speaking of humility here. Humility is one of the primary requirements for entering the spiritual realm. In the physical world, everyone is proud of themselves. 

The inhabitants of the physical world typically seek superiority. We are seeking to be better than others. This is why we strive to win sporting contests and other competitions. We want to be the hero. We want to be the greatest. We want to be on top.

In the spiritual realm, the Supreme Being is the hero. He is the greatest. He is the victor. And this is His natural position. He doesn't have to prove it to anyone.

The inhabitants of the spiritual realm thus do not struggle to win anything. They are the fans of the Supreme Being. They recognize and support the Supreme Being's superiority. They are feeling humble about their own positions. They see themselves as insignificant and see the Supreme Being as their personal hero.

As such, the inhabitants of the spiritual realm also see others as greater than themselves. This is because they are satisfied within. They do not need to promote themselves or gain the attention of others because their relationship with the Supreme Being completely satisfies them.

Who are 'their angels in heaven'?

With this next statement, Jesus refers to the children's guardian angels. The word "angels" is translated from the Greek word ἄγγελος (aggelos) - which means "a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God." 

This means they are messengers of God. The Supreme Being is sending them. They have access to the physical world because they are being sent.

Each of us has one or multiple guardian angels as we take our physical journey. These angels watch us and care for us. They hope the best for us. They support the process of learning that the physical world takes us through. They typically do not interfere, but they try to encourage us to make the right decisions.

This interaction takes place because we are missed in the spiritual world. We once dwelled in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world, no one is forgotten, and love and care pervade. Those we left in the spiritual world - especially the Supreme Being - have not forgotten us. They want us to come home.

Who is our real family?

The spiritual world is full of individuals just as this world is. The main difference is that in this physical world, mostly everyone is selfishly motivated, whereas in the spiritual dimension, everyone is loving the Supreme Being and motivated by their care for others. 

This is why Jesus says they, ".... always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

In other words, the central relationship in the spiritual world is with the Supreme Being. This is communicated here by Jesus as he reflects upon the relationship between the angels and the Supreme Being. The term "always see the face" means their consciousness is focused upon the Supreme Being and they are in constant contact with God.

This opposes the concept of heaven as portrayed by many over the centuries, of God being a vague impersonal force or white light. 

By the phrase, ".... always see the face of my Father in heaven.” we can know that the Supreme Being is a Person. He is personally present in the spiritual realm - and the inhabitants of the spiritual realm enjoy personal relationships with Him.

God, our guardian angels, and the rest of the souls in heaven are our spiritual family. This is not to be confused with our physical family. Our physical family is made up of fellow souls who have taken up physical bodies related to our physical body. But like us, they are not their bodies. Their bodies are temporary vehicles, just as ours are.

We might compare this to a person who sits down in a car and drives a car away. The car is not the person, but is the vehicle for the person. When the car stops, the person gets out, just as when the body dies, we leave the body.

We might better compare it to a person who sits down at a computer to operate a video game. The person will pick an icon and the computer game will take the person away into the game - even though the person is still just sitting at a computer. In the same way, while the spirit-person is operating a physical body, from a spiritual aspect the person is not necessarily away from the spiritual realm - we still retain our spirit-person form - but it is covered up. Our consciousness is preoccupied with our false identity and the illusions of the physical realm.

Within the physical world, we are enamored by space and time. We look through the molecular arrangements called our eyes and see light bouncing off of other molecules and we surmise that we are seeing reality. 

What we are actually seeing is molecules swirling around us that reflect light in a certain way. Those light reflections are picked up by our senses, and our brains interpret those reflections as hard objects - "matter."

Science tells us that we are not surrounded by hard objects. We are seeing molecules that are positioned around each other in a way that gives us the illusion of solidity.

Every "thing" we "see" here is recycling molecules. Even our body recycles molecules. Scientists have found that within five years every molecule in our body will be exchanged for another. This means our bodies are constantly changing.

Is this like looking at a waterfall?

Because the water within the waterfall is always moving, we are never seeing the same waterfall. The water is always new water. This is how molecules are also moving around us - never standing still. Always in motion.

In the same way, our body might appear solid, but it is in fluid motion. It is like a waterfall.

So our concept of time and space is illusory. The reference points we make are all in motion so there is no standard of reference that we can consider constant in the physical world.

The only things that are constant are the spiritual elements existing within this physical world. The personality that is "me" is constant. The Supreme Being is constant. The spiritual realm is constant.

We might compare the physical world to a movie set. The movie set is built up specifically to make a film. The set is not a real place where real people live. It is a facade of a real place. It is set up to give the moviegoer the impression that the place in the film is real.

Can we find reality here in the physical world?

Yes, the potential is there, if a person makes the effort. In the movie analogy above, for example, a moviegoer is watching a film in a darkened theater. This gives the movie the impression of being real since the surroundings are dark. But the moviegoer can, at any time, step out of the dark theater into the daylight, and see reality.

That is why both John the Baptist and Jesus taught that the "kingdom of heaven is near." They taught that each of us can reconnect with the Supreme Being even while we are here on this planet.

However, for most in the physical world, we have forgotten our relationship with the Supreme Being. This is why we feel empty inside. We have forgotten our relationship with God, and this has created a hole within us.

In an attempt to fill that hole, we seek the love and attention of others. This means we strive to achieve fame and recognition, and this is achieved by winning or otherwise becoming accepted - which drives many to join groups or organizations in order to be accepted by others.

But we quickly find that accomplishing the acceptance or recognition from others does not satisfy us. This is found by sportsmen who achieve some big success - say an Olympic athlete who wins a bunch of gold medals. Once the athlete gets the gold medals and receives the fame and recognition for their accomplishment he begins to understand that it brings no real fulfillment. It does not fill that empty hole within.

This is also found out in so many other ways. For example, a family man or woman will feel that having a child will fill that hole within but they soon find out that the child is a responsibility and a lot of work - and the hole still remains. For this reason, they might think that another child will do the trick. Or maybe having an affair. Or maybe something else.

Even as we gain the various accomplishments of the physical world, we feel empty within.

The only thing that will fulfill us is our relationship with the Supreme Being. This is a subordinate position. We are the Supreme Being's subordinates. Yes, God gives us a chance to play out our self-centeredness in this temporary world. Because He is giving us the freedom to love Him or not. Because love requires freedom.

And as Jesus states here, love also requires humility.