Matthew 25:31-46

God judges everybody

31 Jesus said, ‘One day I, the Son of Man, will return. Then people will see that I am great and powerful. All God's angels will come with me. I will sit on my great seat as king. 32 People from all the countries in the world will come together in front of me. I will put them into two groups. I will do it in the same way that a shepherd puts his sheep and goats into two groups. 33 He puts the sheep on his right side and the goats on his left side.

25:33The shepherd is the person who takes care of the sheep and goats. In the day, sheep and goats eat grass in the fields together. At night, the shepherd puts the goats inside so that they are warm. But he leaves the sheep in the fields. Jesus is using the sheep and goats picture story to explain about the kingdom of God. The sheep are like those people who obey God. And the goats are like those people who do not obey him.

34 The king will say to those people who are on his right side, “Come here. My Father has been good to you. He has prepared a place for you in his kingdom. That kingdom has been ready for you since the time that God made the world. 35 I was hungry and you gave me some food to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me some water to drink. I was visiting your town and you asked me to stay in your home. 36 I did not have enough clothes and you gave me some clothes to wear. I was ill and you took care of me. I was in prison and you came to visit me there.”

37 Then the people on the right side will say to the king, “Master, when did we see that you were hungry and give you some food? When did we see that you were thirsty and we gave you some water to drink? 38 When did we ask you to stay in our home because you were alone? When did we give you some clothes to wear? 39 When did we take care of you because you were ill? When did we come to visit you in prison?”

40 The king will answer them, “I tell you this: You did all these things to help other people. They were not important people, but they were my friends. When you helped them, then you also helped me.”

41 Then the king will say to those people who are at his left side, “Go away from me. God has decided to punish you. He has prepared a fire that will burn for ever. He has prepared it for Satan and his servants. You will also go into that fire. 42 I was hungry but you did not give me any food to eat. I was thirsty but you did not give me anything to drink. 43 I visited your town but you did not ask me to stay in your home. I did not have enough clothes but you did not give me anything to wear. I was ill but you did not take care of me. I was in prison but you did not come to visit me.”

44 Then these other people will say, “Master, when did we see you and you were hungry, or you were thirsty? When did we see you alone or without clothes? When did we see you and you were ill, or in prison? When did you need our help and we did not help you?”

45 Then the king will reply, “I tell you this: You did not help people who are my friends. They were not important people. But when you did not help them, you also did not help me.”

46 Then those people on the king's left side will go away to the place where God will punish them for ever. But the good people on the king's right side will live for ever with God.’