Sustained by God’s Word of Joy
Matthew 25:31-46: Today’s reading concludes Jesus’s apocalyptic/judgment discourse with a parable to describe the judgment that will take place at his return. Up to this point, warnings have been given about being watchful and ready for Jesus’s return, but today we hear about the judgment that will take place “when the Son of Man comes.”
Then the King will say to the people on his right, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father!’
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, 32and 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. 33He will put the righteous people at his right and the others at his left. 34Then 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, 36naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me, in prison and you visited me.’ 37The righteous will then answer him, ‘When, Lord, did we ever see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink? 38When did we ever see you a stranger and welcome you in our homes, or naked and clothe you? 39When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ 40The 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! 42I was hungry but you would not feed me, thirsty but you would not give me a drink; 43I 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.’ 44Then 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?’ 45The 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.”
How are the two groups of people in today’s reading described? How will each group be treated? What does today’s reading teach you about how to live your life today? According to Jesus, in what ways can people show God’s love to others? In what ways do you show God’s love to others?
God of grace and mercy, teach me to live in a way that demonstrates your love to others. Amen.
The poor and marginalized in society
Psalm 24: The LORD is praised as the great king.