But seek first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33.
Jesus spoke these words as part of the Sermon on the Mount. Though many people have even memorized this verse, some misinterpret it. Some people assume that this Bible verse means that seeking the Kingdom of God can make one rich. However, the verse means that those who put the Kingdom of God first will have their basic needs like clothing and food.
Matthew 6:33 is a great verse that can benefit many if only they understand its meaning. This post was created to share the meaning of this verse and discuss its context. By the end, you will also understand how to apply it in your daily life.
How Do People Interpret Matthew 6:33?
Many pastors that focus on the prosperity gospel preach that Matthew 6:33 means that seeking the Kingdom of God can make one rich. On the contrary, Jesus did not promise luxuries but promised to give us our daily bread. Other Christians also assume that Matthew 6:33 means one does not need to work hard for a living.
Some assume that this verse means that Christians should take their minds off the things of this world and only focus on spiritual things. However, this is not how the Kingdom of God works. Mathew 5-7 explains that Jesus empowered his believers to bring heaven to earth under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Other Christians think that this verse means that if we seek first the Kingdom of God, we are guaranteed a smooth life with no problems since Jesus promises that all these things will be added to us.
The Context of Matthew 6:33
To understand the actual meaning of Matthew 6:33, we should pay attention to the verses that come before that. During the time of Jesus, most of his listeners were poor. They mainly focused on making a living and did not have time to seek God’s Kingdom.
Matthew 6:33 is a continuation of Matthew 6: 25-34. In these verses, Jesus taught that Christians should not be anxious about what they eat or drink. He even gave an example of birds that do not sow or reap, yet God feeds them. The verse Matthew 6:33 is, therefore, an encouragement to Christians. In this verse, God promises to take care of people who seek him first, just like he cares for his animal and plant creation.
The Meaning of Matthew 6:33
This verse means that seeking the things of God over worldly possessions should be a priority for every believer. But what is the Kingdom of God? Though some people assume that the Kingdom of God is in heaven, it means God’s reign. It is God’s rule over the earth.
This verse does not mean that one should not work hard to earn a living since Jesus did not say Christians should seek only the kingdom. He meant that believers should seek the kingdom first. 1 Thessalonians 4: 11 says to aspire to live quietly, mind your affairs, and work with your hands as we instructed you. This verse proves that seeking the Kingdom of God first does not mean neglecting daily duties that sustain life.
So, how can Christians seek first the kingdom of God? By offering everything, they do to God as an act of worship. This verse demands that the commitment to God’s will should always come first. It is in line with Matthew 6: 24 which says, no man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
We should, therefore, strive to seek God’s righteousness by living according to his moral laws. The Book of Galatians 5:16 describes abiding in Christ as walking by the spirit. Jesus teaches that seeking his righteousness is living every moment in God’s presence, full of the spirit, and loving what is right.
In Matthew 6:33, Jesus did not mean that we should stop worrying but rather replace this feeling with a concern for God’s kingdom. We can also seek the Kingdom of God first by praying every day. The book of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says pray without ceasing.
We can also seek the kingdom of God first by living in obedience to God and talking about the good news of the kingdom to non-believers. At the end of the verse, Jesus promises that if Christians abide by this, he will provide for their daily needs.
Note that he does not promise to make one rich. God’s blessings cannot be measured by material wealth. Jesus warned his followers against pursuing riches and forgetting to seek the kingdom first. He said in Matthew 6:19, Do not focus on accumulating treasures on earth where rust and moths destroy and thieves break in and steal.
Closing Thoughts on the Meaning of Matthew 6:33
Matthew 6:33 is an encouraging verse that instructs us on how to live. We should prioritize seeking the things of God over everything else. Though some people interpret this verse to mean that doing this can make one rich, this is not what Jesus meant. In this verse, he meant that if we prioritize his word, our heavenly father will fulfill our daily needs. Philippians 4: 19 says, and my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
- What does it mean to seek first the Kingdom of God
- Seek Ye First
- David Guzik: Study Guide for Matthew 6
- What does the Bible say about the prosperity gospel
- The Kingdom of Heaven at Work in Us
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.