Matthew 13:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 13:12, NIV: "Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them."

Matthew 13:12, ESV: "For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

Matthew 13:12, KJV: "For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath."

Matthew 13:12, NASB: "For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him."

Matthew 13:12, NLT: "To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them."

Matthew 13:12, CSB: "For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him."

What does Matthew 13:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus is preaching to a huge crowd of Israelites. He is teaching them in parables: small stories used to illustrate truths about the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:1–3). The disciples come to Him and ask why He teaches the people this way (Matthew 13:10). Likely, they are asking why He is not more straightforward about what He means, as He was during the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5—7). Jesus has told them that the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given to them and not to the people (Matthew 13:11).

Now He adds that more will be given to the one who has, but from the person who does not have, even more will be taken away. In this context, what is given and taken is knowledge about the kingdom of heaven. By extension, this also implies the ability to participate in the kingdom. In the arrangement of Matthew's gospel, this follows Christ's statements in the previous chapter about the coming judgment for "this generation" of Israelites. This was due to their lack of repentance and rejection of Him as the Messiah.

The disciples' commitment to Jesus as the Messiah results in them being given more and more understanding about the coming kingdom of heaven. Israel's rejection of the Messiah, as a nation, has resulted—and will result—in being given less and less understanding. Much as with God's approach to Pharaoh in the Exodus (Exodus 4:21; 8:32; 14:4), those who resist God will have their hard-headedness amplified, as a judgment of their disbelief.