Everyday Ways to Love Your Neighbor
In today’s study passage, Jesus clearly communicates that our love for others can’t be separated from our belief in him. While he isn’t saying that our works save us, he is stressing a principle repeated by his brother James: “faith is dead without good works” (James 2:26). If we are Christ’s true followers, then God’s love will compel us to do acts of kindness for “the least of these.”
Interact with God’s Word: Matthew 25:31-46
- What’s your immediate reaction to today’s passage? Think about why you reacted that way.
- What do verses 32 and 33 say about Jesus’ role at judgment?
- What do you think Jesus wanted to communicate by saying he was “one of the least of these”?
- How does this passage help us better understand the value and importance of the two greatest commandments (Matt. 22:37-40)?
- If Jesus were to come today, would you end up on the sheep side or the goat side? Why do you feel this way?
Spend Time in Prayer: Confess times you’ve failed to demonstrate your faith through good deeds; ask God to help you have your eyes wide open for opportunities to serve and demonstrate his love.
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.”