What does Matthew 19:14 really mean?

14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”


Setting the Scene for Matthew 19:14

In Matthew chapter 19, we find Jesus teaching a large crowd of people who have gathered to hear His words. Among the crowd are parents who have brought their children to be blessed by Jesus. The scene is set in a beautiful countryside, with lush greenery and a gentle breeze blowing through the area. The sun is shining brightly, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

As Jesus speaks to the crowd, the parents approach Him, carrying their little ones in their arms. They have heard of Jesus’ miracles and teachings and are eager for their children to receive His blessing. The children are curious and excited, looking up at Jesus with wide eyes full of wonder. The disciples, initially trying to keep the children away, are now watching in amazement as Jesus welcomes the little ones with open arms.

Jesus, with a gentle smile on His face, takes the children in His arms, lays His hands on them, and blesses them. His love and compassion radiate from Him, filling the hearts of all who witness this touching moment. The parents are filled with gratitude and joy as they see their children being blessed by the Son of God. This scene captures the essence of Jesus’ teachings on humility, innocence, and the importance of childlike faith.

What is Matthew 19:14 about?

This verse from the Bible, spoken by Jesus, carries a profound message about the importance of children and their relationship with God. It emphasizes the value that Jesus places on children, welcoming them openly and lovingly into his presence. Jesus is teaching us about the purity and innocence that children possess, qualities that align closely with the Kingdom of God by saying, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them.”

Do you ever pause to consider the pure hearts and open minds of children? Jesus is reminding us to approach God with the same simplicity and trust that children naturally exhibit. He is inviting us to embrace humility, vulnerability, and unconditional love, just like children do. Additionally, this verse serves as a gentle reminder to not overlook the importance of nurturing and guiding children in their spiritual journey. We are called to support and encourage the little ones’ connection with God, helping them grow in faith and understanding by not hindering them.

Reflect on how you view children and their place in your faith community. Are there ways you can create a welcoming and inclusive environment for them to experience God’s love? Jesus’s words remind us to cherish the innocence and purity that children bring and to approach God with childlike trust and openness. We should all strive to be like little children in our faith, embracing the simplicity and love that Jesus teaches us through this powerful verse.

Understanding what Matthew 19:14 really means

Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:14 resonate deeply with both simplicity and profound theological insight. This verse, often quoted in discussions about children and faith, provides a rich tapestry of meaning that invites us to explore several layers of understanding. We can uncover a deeper appreciation for the message by examining the verse in its context, its parallels in other scriptures, and its relevance to our lives today.

Contextual Analysis

The verse occurs within a broader narrative where children are being brought to Jesus, and the disciples, perhaps seeing them as a distraction, rebuke the people. However, Jesus intervenes with a clear directive. This moment is pivotal as it underscores Jesus’ inclusive ministry and highlights the inherent value and purity of children in the kingdom of heaven.

Key Phrases and Their Meanings

When Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me,” He is making a powerful statement about accessibility to His presence. Children, in their innocence and openness, symbolize the ideal posture of a believer. Jesus is not just addressing the children but is offering a broader invitation to all who exhibit child-like faith and humility by extending His welcome.

Biblical Parallels

This theme is echoed in other parts of the Bible. For instance, in Mark 10:15, Jesus emphasizes that anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Similarly, in Luke 18:17, the same sentiment is reiterated, underlining the importance of a simple, trusting approach to faith. These parallels help to reinforce the idea that child-like qualities are essential for spiritual receptivity and growth.

Relevance to Modern Life

Today, in a world often driven by cynicism and complexity, Jesus’ message about children is remarkably pertinent. It calls us to return to a state of simplicity, trust, and openness in our relationship with God. Jesus advocates for the kind of trust in our relationship with Him that mirrors a child’s unquestioning trust in a parent’s love.

Anecdotal Illustration

Imagine a young child running to their parent after a fall, seeking comfort and assurance without hesitation. This unreserved approach is what Jesus encourages. I recall a story of a woman who, after years of trying to control every aspect of her life, found peace only when she surrendered her fears and anxieties to God, much like a child looking to a parent for comfort. This transformation illustrates the power of embracing a child-like trust in divine care.


Matthew 19:14 challenges us to reflect on our spiritual posture. Are we approaching God with the same openness and trust as children do with their parents? We align ourselves with the values of the kingdom of heaven by doing so. This verse is not just about children; it is about the essence of faith itself. It encourages us to strip away the layers of doubt and complexity, returning to the core of a simple, trusting relationship with our Creator.

How can we truly embrace child-like faith?

To truly embrace child-like faith, we must approach God with humility, innocence, and trust, just as children do. This means letting go of our pride, doubts, and worries, and instead approaching God with a pure and open heart, just as children do naturally. We need to rely entirely on God’s guidance and provision, just as children trust their parents to care for them and provide for their needs.

Embracing child-like faith also involves being willing to learn, to be curious, and to ask questions without doubting God’s ability to answer them. Children are inquisitive and open to new experiences, and we can likewise approach our relationship with God with a sense of wonder and openness, ready to learn and grow in our faith. We can deepen our relationship with God and experience His love and grace in a truly authentic way by adopting this child-like attitude.


Imagine your life like balancing work deadlines and family commitments. Christ calls us to navigate this chaos with the simple trust of a child. Surrender your doubts and fears at His feet just as you would rely on family in tough times. Let His love guide your actions, just as you follow trusted advice at work. Will you embrace this trust and let God’s love flow through you?