God’s Saving Word: Wisdom
Matthew 25:31-46: Jesus concludes his final discourse with a parable that describes the judgment that will take place when he returns. All nations will be judged based on how they responded to Jesus’s teachings and cared for those in need.
The Final Judgment
31 “When the Son of Man comes as King and all the angels with him, he will sit on his royal throne, 32 and the people of all the nations will be gathered before him. Then he will divide them into two groups, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the righteous people at his right and the others at his left. 34 Then the King will say to the people on his right, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father! Come and possess the kingdom which has been prepared for you ever since the creation of the world. 35 I was hungry and you fed me, thirsty and you gave me a drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes, 36 naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37 The righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38 When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ 40 The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Away from me, you that are under God’s curse! Away to the eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels! 42 I was hungry but you would not feed me, thirsty but you would not give me a drink; 43 I was a stranger but you would not welcome me in your homes, naked but you would not clothe me; I was sick and in prison but you would not take care of me.’ 44 Then they will answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and we would not help you?’ 45 The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me.’ 46 These, then, will be sent off to eternal punishment, but the righteous will go to eternal life.”
Today’s Key Verse: Matthew 25:40
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you, whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me!’”
How does Jesus describe the final judgment? On what basis are the nations divided into two groups “just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (verse 32)? What might this passage have to say about how we are to live today? What does it say about showing love to others? How will you show love to others today?
Lord Jesus, open my eyes and heart to those who are in need. Help me to reach out with compassion and love to those I may encounter who need food, clothing, shelter, a visit, or a word of encouragement. Teach me to be an instrument of your love. Amen.
Job 28:1-28: a poem in praise of wisdom.