I've been thinking about this passage for a while now. It's very powerful! So, first the passage:
Jesus Tells about the Final Judgment
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
Before I get into what I think or how this is speaking to me, I need to tell you that my purpose is NOT to judge anyone. Just to reveal what I think Jesus is saying here. So, what is this passage saying? Do you think he's talking to people who believed in Him? Do you think he's talking to people who believed that they were going to heaven? I do. I think he's talking to people who are believers. I'm going to let the scriptures speak for themselves. These are a few that jumped out at me.
Isaiah 58 is about True and False Worship. God is talking about how people come to the temple and do all the religious rituals, how they fast and listen to the Scripture readings, etc. But then He says in Isaiah 58:6-11... 6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. 7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. 8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. 9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply. “Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! 10 Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
Then take this scripture from Matthew 7:21-27
21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Building on a Solid Foundation
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
Yet another scripture that ties into this.
36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
When Jesus was asked what the most important commandment was, He says: Love the Lord and then EQUALLY as important, Love your neighbor as yourself. Neighbor can mean someone living near you or it can mean another human being. Doesn't that say something? Wow!
The Golden Rule
12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
When you take this all into account, what is Jesus saying here? He rates loving others right up there with loving God. He's saying that many will come to him in the end and he will turn them away because they did not love the poor. He doesn't say which poor people (as in who deserves it in our eyes) we should help, he just says to help them. What if many people are overlooking this? I mean he's pretty clear in Matthew 25:46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
All throughout scripture he talks about the poor, the needy, the oppressed. The first thing He says on the Sermon on the Mount was this: Matthew 5:3 God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. It's pretty clear to me how God feels about the poor. Does it not make sense that he would want us to take care of them? Could it be that many will go to church, pray, do all these "religious" things and still not get into heaven if they ignore the poor and those imprisoned? Let me ask you this...when you ready Matthew 25:31-46. Do you see yourself as a sheep or a goat? I'm not asking you to tell me, I'm asking you to think about it.
What do you think about this passage? Does it speak to you as it did me?
Welcome to our journey. The purpose of my blog is not only to journal our life experience, but also to share what God is doing in our lives. I do not claim to be an expert in parenting, marriage, or even the Bible. But I do have a heart to share my experiences and the true love that God has for each and every one of us. You can read our testimony by clicking on the top of the page. And if you'd like to know about the Homeless Ministry my husband started, you can click on the Homeless tab. I hope you will comment freely on my posts and in my community.