The meaning of Matthew 6:33 KJV, NIV & ESV
Matthew 6:33 is one of the great promises of God to meet the needs of all His children. God knows that we always have daily needs either spiritually or physically and has promised throughout scriptures to provide for us if only we can trust in Him. It’s so sad that some people seek everything else before seeking God.
Romans 8:32 reminds us that “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
What else can God withhold from us? Nothing!
When you set the things of the kingdom as the top on your list, God will bless your efforts and also provide all your needs here on earth and you can also be sure of your rewards in Heaven. We must make seeking God’s kingdom and His righteousness a daily effort and watch God provide for our daily needs.
We are admonished not to worry or be anxious about what to eat, drink or wear. God who created us knows we need them all and He will make them available.
Let’s take a deep dive and unveil the truth behind this scripture.
1. Who wrote Matthew 6:33 and when was it written?
Matthew 6:33 was written by St. Matthew the Evangelist, one of the 12 Apostles, who was a tax collector. Most scholars believe the gospel was written between 80 AD to 90 AD.
2. What is the context of Matthew 6?
The context of Matthew 6 is to enlighten Christians about God’s kingdom and His unlimited act of providence.
Mathew directed the message to the Jewish as a new interpretation of the Law of Moses. He is referred to as the most Jewish among all the gospels.
The preceding chapter, Matthew 5 is the beginning of a very important sermon in the book of Matthew called Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew Chapters 5 to 7).
The main purpose of the entire sermon is to point out what believers should do to enter the kingdom of heaven.
This chapter emphasizes how our good deeds should be done acceptably to please God and not to please men.
Ephesians 6 verses 6 to 8 says, “not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. ”
The deeds mentioned above is referring to our charitable deeds as well as our prayer and fasting life. We were advised not to engage in public prayers but to enter into our closet anytime we are set to pray. Believers are also expected not to be of sad countenance during fasting, this should also be kept secret so that we will not miss the rewards attached to it.
The chapter also identifies the worldly concern of men that can cause distractions from the things of the kingdom. These worldly concerns are listed as what we will eat, what we will drink or what we shall put on. We are expected to change our attitude towards material things as these are only temporary but to be focused on the things of the kingdom.
Mathew captured the strong word from Jesus regarding these worries in verses 31 to 33,
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. ”
The passage ended giving caution to us not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its things.
3. What is the meaning of Matthew 6:33?
Matthew 6:33 is about pursuing God’s kingdom and His righteousness as our priority for living while God takes care of everything else. This is not a “trade by batter thing", but a description of how God works.
Jesus taught us the importance of the kingdom and He is more than enough to provide for His kingdom by Himself. God is not a user of men but a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. You cannot seek God while He abandons you because He does not owe any man.
It is in seeking after God’s agenda or plans with our time in prayers, resources, talents, abilities, energy, etc. lies our blessings.
Jeremiah 29:13 tells us, “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
We are commanded to pursue or seek God’s kingdom willingly and intentionally. It is a choice and a choice of the wise. This must be done with the whole of our hearts for it to be acceptable. God does not force anyone.
What a privilege God has given to us to seek Him and serve Him. He provides us with rewards for our service to Him and others. These rewards or additions come in different forms. It can be physically, mentally, or spiritually.
He will replace our lack with abundance, the spirit of heaviness with the garment of praise or spirit of joy, and grant us spiritual enrichment, riches, and honour, just to mention a few.
As believers, if we set God’s rules and righteousness first as our priorities for living, God will set us high above all nations of the earth. Jesus is the ruler and He beckons on us to make pursuing His kingdom a priority.
4. Meaning of “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” means passionate pursuit of God, His kingdom and righteousness, making them your concern and priority. Seeking after God’s kingdom and righteousness must be your objective. Look unto God for all your needs, make God and your relationship with Him the center of your life, and every other thing shall be added.
If Jesus Christ is King, then He is the ruler of this kingdom and must be sought after. It is more than knowing Jesus as the first and our source, we must seek His kingdom also.
God has gave us unique talents as gifts for us. These gifts are meant to be used on the earth in our service to Him and others. Although, Jesus is invincible and invisible but can be found. He can be found when you seek for Him with the whole of your heart. Submit to His authority so that He can empower you to build His kingdom.
Matthew 6: 10-11 tells us “Our kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.”
Whosever that can ask for daily bread must be ready and willing to call for the kingdom of God to come daily. Pursue the kingdom of God as you live just as God wants you to live.
5. Meaning of “And all these things shall be added to you”
“And all these things shall be added to you” means all the things that others are dying to get, shall be added to you. This will be allotted to those who seek God, His kingdom, and righteousness.
These additions include and are not limited to breakthrough, joy, peace, healing, salvation, transformation, prosperity, favour, fruitfulness, etc. All the necessities of life will be given to you. It is when we seek after the kingdom of God and His righteousness that our needs will be met (Matthew 6:9-11).
6. What is the difference in biblical translations of Matthew 6:33 (NKJV, NIV & ESV)
There is no difference in translations between NKJV and ESV.
Regardless, NIV says “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness,” his kingdom as mentioned in this translation is referring to God’s kingdom.
“And all these things will be given to you as well” also means the same as “all these things shall be added to you” as mentioned in both NKJV and ESV. However, the three translations have the same meaning.
7. Matthew 6:33 NKJV translation says:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”
8. Matthew 6:33 NIV translation says:
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”
9. Matthew 6:33 ESV translation says:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
10. How do I seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness?
You can seek the Kingdom and his righteousness by spreading the good news by wining souls for God. This is the heartbeat of God. (Proverbs 11:30, Daniel 12:3). There is joy in heaven over every soul brought to Christ.
When you do this, you are depopulating the kingdom of darkness and filling the kingdom of God. This should not be a one-off but your lifestyle.
Let kingdom advancement prayers be your priorities each time you pray. Jesus made this clear in the same chapter 6 of Matthew where He taught His disciples how to pray, He asked them to put the kingdom first in their prayers before any request “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10). Our prayers must be focused on salvation and the establishment of souls in the kingdom.
The cheapest way to rise is to be in pursuit of what God wants you to do. As you continue to labour for His kingdom, His kingdom and glory shall be evident upon you.
11. How do I apply Matthew 6:33 to my life?
Applying Matthew 6:33 to my life is to make the kingdom of God and His interests my top priority with total trust that God will make all other needs readily available to me.
God’s utmost interest is His kingdom. His kingdom is simply the spiritual realm over which He reigns or the fulfillment of His will on earth. We are admonished in verses 30-32 of Mathew chapter 6 not to worry about worldly concerns as they are temporary, rather seek first God’s kingdom in thoughts, words, and deeds, and all our concerns will be taken care of.
Isn’t this a mystery? You seek only one thing and have every other thing freely given to you. Our focus must be on the Heavenly treasure, not material treasures.
Jesus tells us in the above verse to seek first His kingdom and his righteousness and the blessings in doing so will be added to us without a sweat.
Jesus made it clear that we must seek the kingdom and his righteousness together. You cannot partake of the blessings attached to the kingdom if His righteousness is left aside.
One vital way to apply to seek the kingdom first is in our prayer life. Jesus taught His disciples how to pray in Matthew 6 verses 9 to 13,
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
As you seek Him in prayers, His kingdom should be mentioned before any other thing. This is what gives results to our prayers.
The first step is to live a sanctified life. Seeking the kingdom is good but it has to be done acceptably.
Isaiah 59 verses 1 and 2 says, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”
Sin is always a barrier between us and God. We must first purge ourselves of every filthiness for us to be fit to serve Him so as not to miss our rewards. We cannot serve two masters; we cannot serve God and mammon.
It is difficult to put God first while we have life challenges staring at us, but this can be achieved through the help of the Holy Spirit.
12. What is a Matthew 6:33 prayer?
Loving Father, I thank You for the opportunity given to me to receive and believe You as my Lord and Saviour. Thank You for Your blessings over my life. Forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me. May I not lay my treasures on the earth where moth and rusts will destroy it but help me to lay my treasures in heaven where thieves cannot break and steal. By Your Spirit, help me to always seek first your kingdom and not my selfish interest. This I pray in Christ's name. AMEN
We must be willing and ready to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness at all costs because no one serves God at a loss. For He has not called the seed of Jacob to seek Him in vain (Isaiah 45:19).
Be prepared to give yourself out to the works of the kingdom, and serve others. You must be consumed with zeal and be consistent at all times. Ever steadfast and never tired. Seek God first and see what He will do. Your Father who sees you in secret will reward you openly.