125 Jesus compares God’s judgment to the separation of sheep and goats.

Proverbs 14:31; 17:5; 19:17; Ezekiel 34:17; Matthew 25:31–46

When Jesus said he would return to be seated upon his throne, what did the disciples expect (Matthew 25:31)? What do you think he meant?

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If God is forgiving, why is any separation needed (Matthew 25:32–33)?

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In Jesus’ story, what distinguishes the “sheep” from the “goats” (Matthew 25:34–36)?

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Why had the righteous not recognized the nature of their service (Matthew 25:37–39)?

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How do we serve God by helping those in need (Matthew 25:40)?

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What should be the extent of our concern for the hungry and homeless (Matthew 25:41–43)?

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Why did the unrighteous fail to recognize their need to help others (Matthew 25:44–45)?

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Why should people suffer eternal punishment for not doing what they didn’t know they had to do (Matthew 25:46)?

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When the Son of Man comes in splendor with all his angels, he will take his place upon his exalted throne.

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in splendor with all his angels, he will take his place upon his exalted throne.
King James

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

“All people will assemble before him, and he will separate them like a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Eyewitness

Ezekiel 34:17 As for you, my flock, the sovereign God says, ‘I will judge one animal from the other and will separate the sheep from the goats.’
Matthew 25:32–33 “All people will assemble before him, and he will separate them like a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
King James

Ezekiel 34:17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.
Matthew 25:32–33 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

“The King will say to those on his right, ‘You who have been blessed by my Father, receive your inheritance, the Kingdom that was prepared for you from the creation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was homeless, and you opened your home to me. I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me.’

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:34–36 “The King will say to those on his right, ‘You who have been blessed by my Father, receive your inheritance, the Kingdom that was prepared for you from the creation of the world. I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was homeless, and you opened your home to me. I needed clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me.’
King James

Matthew 25:34–36 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

“The righteous will say, ‘Sir, when were you hungry and thirsty, and we gave you food and drink? When did we see you homeless or in need of clothes? When were you sick or in prison, and we came to visit you?’

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:37–39 “The righteous will say, ‘Sir, when were you hungry and thirsty, and we gave you food and drink? When did we see you homeless or in need of clothes? When were you sick or in prison, and we came to visit you?’
King James

Matthew 25:37–39 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

“The King will say, ‘I assure you, whenever you helped one of my needy people, you did it to me.’

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:40 “The King will say, ‘I assure you, whenever you helped one of my needy people, you did it to me.’
King James

Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

“He will say to those on his left, ‘Leave me, you who are condemned. Receive your inheritance in the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. I was hungry, and you gave me no food. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. I was homeless, and you would not open your home. I needed clothes, and you gave me nothing to wear. I was sick and in prison, but you never visited me.’

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:41–43 “He will say to those on his left, “Leave me, you who are condemned. Receive your inheritance in the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. I was hungry, and you gave me no food. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. I was homeless, and you would not open your home. I needed clothes, and you gave me nothing to wear. I was sick and in prison, but you never visited me.”
King James

Matthew 25:41–43 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

“They will also say, ‘Sir, when were you hungry and thirsty, and we gave you no food and drink? When did we see you homeless or in need of clothes? When were you sick or in prison, and we did not visit you?’

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:44 “They will also say, ‘Sir, when were you hungry and thirsty, and we gave you no food and drink? When did we see you homeless or in need of clothes? When were you sick or in prison, and we did not visit you?’
King James

Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

“The King will say, ‘I assure you, whenever you failed to help one of my needy people, you failed to help me.’

Eyewitness

Proverbs 14:31 Anyone who mistreats the poor shows contempt for their Creator, but anyone who helps the poor honors him.
Proverbs 17:5 Anyone who ridicules the poor insults their Creator, and those who are content with their distress will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 19:17 Helping the poor is lending to God who is sure to repay the giver for his good deed.
Matthew 25:45 “The King will say, ‘I assure you, whenever you failed to help one of my needy people, you failed to help me.’
King James

Proverbs 14:31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
Proverbs 17:5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.
Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Matthew 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

“They will suffer eternal punishment, but the righteous will enjoy eternal life.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 25:46 “They will suffer eternal punishment, but the righteous will enjoy eternal life.”
King James

Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.