What does Matthew 19:14 mean?
ESV: but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
NIV: Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'
NASB: But Jesus said, 'Leave the children alone, and do not forbid them to come to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'
CSB: Jesus said, "Leave the little children alone, and don't try to keep them from coming to me, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
NLT: But Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.'
KJV: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
NKJV: But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Verse Commentary:
Jesus both cares for children and recognizes their value as an example to His disciples. Some have brought children to Jesus so that He can lay hands on them and pray for them. The disciples have rebuked these people, perhaps to protect His time and energy from a request that is not urgent.

Jesus, though, steps in and insists on allowing the little children to come to Him. He tells the disciples not to hinder them because the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like children. It is a tender picture, and Jesus clearly cares for the children. However, He is not saying that the kingdom of heaven belongs to actual little children. Instead, He is reminding the disciples of their need for childlike faith and humility.

This, in fact, is an echo of a teaching Jesus gave to His disciples in the previous chapter: "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:3–4).
Verse Context:
Matthew 19:13–15 describes Jesus overruling the disciples when they rebuke people bringing children to Jesus. They want Jesus to lay hands on the children and pray for them. Jesus tells the disciples not to stand in the way of the little children because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like them.
Chapter Summary:
Pharisees ask Jesus if it is lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause. Jesus reminds them marriage was designed by God at creation. Divorce, then, is lawful only in the case of sexual immorality. A rich young man asks Jesus what good thing he must do to have eternal life. Jesus insists only God is good. He challenges the man's sincerity by asking him to give all his wealth to the poor and follow Him. The man's refusal demonstrates how easy it is to prefer wealth to dependence on God. In response to the disciples' question, Jesus says salvation is impossible with men but not with God.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 19 follows Jesus' teachings about temptation and forgiveness in chapter 18. This passage begins with Jesus leaving behind Galilee and heading toward Jerusalem the long way around. Jesus tells the Pharisees that divorce is legal only in cases of sexual immorality. Jesus blesses little children and then answers a rich young man who asks how to have eternal life. The man leaves sad after Jesus challenges him to give his money to the poor and follow Him. Jesus says salvation is impossible with men, but not with God. Chapter 20 contains additional parables and examples, and is the last before Jesus arrives in Jerusalem in the days just prior to His crucifixion.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
Accessed 5/24/2024 10:13:20 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com