“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”
Matthew 25 continues with the parable of the sheep and the goats. In the future judgment, Jesus explains that He will separate those being judged as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. The parable shows a vital aspect of that judgment will be based on how we treat others.
Verses 34-36 explain what Christ is looking for: “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’”
Those being judged will have an obvious question: When did they do any of these things for Jesus Christ? They certainly would have done them if they had seen Him facing need, but they hadn’t had that opportunity.
That’s when Jesus—the King—reveals how He looks at things. All people are His brothers and sisters. So He says that serving even those considered “least” by others is like serving the King Himself!
Then came an ominous warning. Those on the King’s left hand will find that not serving those who they thought of as least was an affront to Christ Himself. He will tell them, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41; see “What Is Hell?” for more understanding of this punishment).
For more about the life of service Jesus has called us to, see “What Is a Christian?”