This story is featured in Prepare the Way: Advent and Christmas Bible Stories for Kids.
Jesus told his disciples about the final judgment so that he could teach them about how they should live their lives before he came back. His message still applies today to us who await his return.
As you read this story, pay attention to the expectations Jesus the king has for his people.
When the Son of Man comes in glory, you will see angels with him and he will sit on a great throne.
All the people of the world will be gathered together before him. Then he will separate everyone into two groups just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will put the sheep on his right side and the goats on his left. The king will turn to the people on his right and say, “Come, you are blessed by my Father. The kingdom has been prepared for you since the beginning of time. I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, yet you welcomed me like you knew me. I needed clothes and you gave them to me. I was sick and you helped me get well. I was in jail and you visited me.”
The people on the right will be confused. “Lord, when did we do these things for you?” they will ask.
The king will answer them, “Just as you did for the least in my family, you did for me.”
Then the king will turn to the people on his left and say, “You are cursed. Depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. I was hungry and you did not feed me. I was thirsty and you gave me no drink. I was a stranger and you sent me away. I needed clothing and you gave me no clothes. I was sick and you let me suffer. I was in prison and you never came to see me.”
These people will be confused as well. They will say, “Lord, when did we not take care of you?”
The king will reply, “Just as you did not do for the lowest people in the world, you did not do for me.”
These people will go to eternal punishment, while the others will join the king in eternal life.
Sheep and the Goats (Matthew25) Reflection Questions
- Why were some people welcomed into the kingdom for eternal life and others sent into eternal punishment?
- How can you do each of the things Jesus expects of his disciples? How can you give food, drink, and clothing? How can you welcome strangers, help the sick, and comfort people in jail?
- Have you ever seen someone who is homeless? What can you do to help them?
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