Matthew 19:14 meaning

6 Encouraging Lessons from Matthew 19:14 Meaning. Let The Children Come To Me.

It is very possible to misunderstand Matthew 19:14 meaning, but it is a verse with hidden truths that are capable of changing one’s perspective on God’s kingdom.

But before delving into the meaning of St. Matthew 19:14, let us first examine the verse in various versions of the holy bible.

  • KJV: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

  • AMP: But He said, Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such [as these] is the kingdom of heaven composed.

  • BBE: But Jesus said, Let the little ones come to me, and do not keep them away: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

  • ESV: but Jesus said, Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.

  • GNT: Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

  • 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.”

  • NKJV: But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

  • NLT: But Jesus said, ” Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”

Context scripture (Matthew 19:13-15 KJV).

St. Matthew 19:13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
St. Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
St. Matthew 19:15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

A line-by-line explanation of Matthew 19:14.

Matthew 19:14 meaning - Let the children come to me.

But Jesus said,

“But” indicates that Jesus was about to say something contrary to what the actions of his disciples were. According to Mark 10:14, Christ was offended by his disciples’ refusal to let the children approach him.

When Jesus saw that his disciples were preventing the children marked by sincerity, transparency, neediness, dependence, humility, teachability, and so on from coming to him, he did not remain silent but rather expressed his intention toward them. He said, let the children come to me.

Suffer little children:

Jesus told the disciples to allow the children. “Let them come to Me,” he said. Let’s, therefore, take note of these:

  • Jesus wants to bless the children, and they need blessings from Jesus.
  • Parents or guardians of little children are encouraged to bring them to Jesus early. (Operation catch-them-young).
  • Jesus doesn’t disregard or treat those who desire to see him with contempt. He has regard for even the weakest and poorest among us.
  • The followers of Jesus might be said to be compassionate and loving, but none can love you more than Jesus himself does.

And forbid them not to come unto me:

This is in line with his words in St. John 6:37.

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Despite the fact that the Bible clearly states that children are a great blessing from the Lord (Psalms 127:3). In addition, being barren was regarded negatively in Israel. 

Moreover, the Lord commanded the Israelites to teach their children about Him. (Deuteronomy 6:7)

But it can be said that in the days of Jesus, children were not highly valued except by their parents. This can also be deduced from the incidents of massive massacres of children at the time of Jesus’s birth.

To the neglected children, Jesus said, “Let them come to me.” To those who are despised, babies, the humble, and those who are teachable and can learn from him, “Let the children come to me,” Jesus said. 

Such is the kingdom of heaven.

The kingdom of God is for those who possess the attributes of children, though not in understanding but in evil like malice (1 Corinthians 14:20).

Believers are sometimes referred to as “little children” in the Bible (Luke 10:21; Galatians 4:19; 1 John 4:4).

In Matthew 18:3-5, Jesus clearly said,

"Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven."

If you must come to Jesus, if you are to access the Father through Jesus, if you must inherit or enter the kingdom of heaven, you must come as a child and not as an adult. You must come to Christ with childlike humility, simplicity, and faith. 

Read also: 4 Essential Christian Maturity Lessons from the Life of Jesus.

What qualities in children was Jesus talking about?

  1. Childlike trust (faith): Children don’t worry about their needs, and they also don’t worry about how their parents will be able to provide for them. They simply believe in their parents’ ability to solve all their problems.
  2. Sincerity: Children are transparent and sincere. When they are in need, they cry to their parents, and when they are filled, they rejoice.
  3. Humility: Children have nothing to boast of except the might of their parents. 
  4. Open heartedness. 
  5. Teachability. Children are correctable.
  6. Simplicity.

What Matthew 19:14 doesn’t mean:

  • Matthew 19:14 meaning does not suggest Infant baptism: Is this verse teaching infant baptism? Certainly, this is the claim of those who hold those views; however, it is significant that Christ did not say that, but that “the kingdom belongs to such!” The emphasis is on childlike behavior and personality. Infant baptism is neither supported nor permitted in the New Testament. Peter commanded the people to first repent and then have themselves baptized. If an infant is “saved” by baptism, he or she is saved without repentance, confession, knowledge of the Lord, consciousness of sin, or any intention of living right. This contradicts the Lord’s statement that a man “must be born again” before he can see the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3-5).
  • The verse doesn’t mean that only children will inherit the kingdom of God or that adults cannot inherit the kingdom of God because of their age. The meaning is really far from that.

Why did the disciples not want the children to come to Jesus?

Although there are many hindrances to spiritual growth, in this case, the hindrance came where I least expected it.

I am certain that the disciples prevented those children from approaching Jesus not because they hated them, but for genuine reasons that could be considered right in human eyes. Some reasons might be:

  • Because they thought that it wasn’t socially okay for those children to come to Jesus at that time. It is more likely that they did that because of the respect they have for Jesus, who is their master.
  • Maybe they thought that it would be inconvenient for Jesus.
  • The thought might be that the children weren’t important to Jesus.
  • They thought that there was no need for them to come to Jesus.
  • Maybe they wanted Jesus to rest and didn’t want anyone to disturb him.
  • Children can be troublesome; maybe they didn’t want any of them to bother him.

I am glad that Jesus, despite his disciples’ actions, said, let the children come to me.

Six Encouraging Lessons from Matthew 19:14

Matthew 19:14 meaning. Let the children come to me.

1. What Jesus is saying is more important.

In this life, there are many things speaking to us. Many of them might be discouraging. But as Christians, we are to give the Lord our ears. What our Lord Jesus is saying is better than any word from anyone, even the words of our fellow Christians. His words are better than suggestions from threatening situations. His words are more encouraging than some of His disciples’ or followers’ discouraging actions and behaviors. We are not to be discouraged from coming closer to Jesus because of the behavior of his followers, which might communicate to us that we shouldn’t move closer to Jesus. Follow the followers, or disciples, of Jesus only when they follow him. The scripture says, “Look unto Jesus.” And Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

2. You are not called in vain.

Isaiah 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, In a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain’; I, the Lord, speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. (NKJV)

Jesus doesn’t call us to come to him in vain. This he demonstrated by laying his hands on the children and blessing them as they approached. (Vs 15). As you move closer to Jesus, he will indeed bless you.

3. Jesus doesn’t see you the same way men see you.

Men may see you as irrelevant, poor, needy, etc., and as a result, may have nothing to do with you. But Jesus sees you as a highly important person to him. To Him, you are a priest and a king—a special person—and He can’t despise you.

4. You are to come to Jesus as a child.

As long as you come as a child, Jesus is always ready to receive you. Come humble; come ready to be corrected and chastised by him; come ready to learn from him and rely on him. Come as a child!

Children are marked with humility. And remember, God draws the humble closer to Himself but opposes the proud.

5. You can’t be rejected when you go to Jesus.

Jesus can’t reject anyone who wants to come to him. He will by no means cast any away. Seek Him and you will find Him.

6. Jesus can’t remain silent at those hindrances keeping you from coming to him.

Jesus will not keep quiet when he sees men, the devil, or anything else trying to stop you from getting closer to him. He will definitely speak and will never keep silent as long as you persist and are determined to know him. And when he says something, that becomes the end of that challenge.


There are many things that can serve as hindrances to our seeking the Lord (even His disciples can at some point serve as hindrances). From Matthew 19:14’s meaning, I can say that hindrances can come even from the least expected people or things.

But this verse contains encouraging truths for everyone whose desire is to seek and see the Lord.

As you set your heart to seek the Lord, you shall surely find Him in Jesus’ name, amen!

God’s grace!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top