BIBLE VERSES EXPLAINED
Matthew 6:33—“Seek First the Kingdom of God”
“Keep on, then, seeking first the Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things will be added to you.”—Matthew 6:33, New World Translation.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”—Matthew 6:33, New King James Version.
Meaning of Matthew 6:33
God’s Kingdom is a government in heaven that will accomplish God’s will on earth. (Matthew 6:9, 10) A person seeks the Kingdom first by making it his or her most important concern in life. a That would include not only being eager to learn about God’s Kingdom but also telling others about the good things it will accomplish. (Matthew 24:14) A person who seeks the Kingdom would also pray for it to come.—Luke 11:2.
God’s righteousness includes his standards for right and wrong conduct. (Psalm 119:172) Thus, a person seeks God’s righteousness by living according to God’s moral laws, which are always beneficial.—Isaiah 48:17.
The phrase all these things will be added to you is a promise that God will provide for those who put his Kingdom and his standards first in their life.—Matthew 6:31, 32.
Context of Matthew 6:33
Jesus spoke these words as part of what has been called the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in Matthew chapters 5-7. No doubt many of Jesus’ listeners were poor. They may have felt that they had to focus primarily on making a living, leaving them with little time for seeking the Kingdom. But Jesus encouraged them to observe how God cares for his plant and animal creation. God promises to do the same for people who seek his Kingdom first.—Matthew 6:25-30.
Misconceptions About Matthew 6:33
Misconception: A person who seeks the Kingdom will get rich.
Fact: Jesus said that those who put God’s Kingdom first will have what they need, such as food and clothing. (Matthew 6:25, 31, 32) However, he did not promise luxuries, nor did he indicate that God’s blessing would be measured by material wealth. In fact, Jesus warned his listeners against the pursuit of riches, which can actually make it harder to seek first the Kingdom. (Matthew 6:19, 20, 24) The apostle Paul worked tirelessly in behalf of God’s Kingdom, yet he was sometimes low on material provisions. Like Jesus, he warned others about the danger of striving to get rich.—Philippians 4:11, 12; 1 Timothy 6:6-10.
Misconception: Christians do not need to work for a living.
Fact: The Bible says that Christians should work to support themselves and their families. (1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 5:8) Jesus did not say that his followers should seek only the Kingdom; rather, he said that they should seek the Kingdom first.
Those who seek God’s Kingdom first and are willing to work for a living can count on God to help them obtain life’s necessities.—1 Timothy 6:17-19.
a “Keep on . . . seeking” is translated from a Greek verb form that indicates continuous action, and the phrase could be rendered “seek continually.” Thus, the Kingdom should be a priority and not merely a momentary or temporary interest.