Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 19th February 2024: The judgement of the people

King Matthew 25 Parable judgement Loving One Another Jesus

Reading : Verses from Matthew, Chapter 25

King's crown

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by 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 something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


This parable is one of the most easy to understand, and yet one of the most difficult carry out. Some of these are small tasks - when we give food to someone who is hungry, water to the thirsty, and clothing to those who need it - then Jesus says we are doing them to him. And conversely when fail to do them we reject Jesus. The term 'Son of man' is the phrase used for 'The Messiah' as we have seen before, and here we see him as the King who judges all the nations.

I am reminded of the famous story about St Martin of Tours (c 317-297 CE). According to medieval accounts about his life, Martin was a Roman soldier who converted to Christianity after an encounter with a half-naked beggar at the gate of the city of Amiens in northern France. Martin cut his cloak in half in order to share it with the beggar, who that night appeared to him in a dream or a vision and revealed himself to be Christ.

This experience encouraged Martin to renounce the army and become a ‘soldier’ of Christ. After his death, St Martin was associated with many miracles and he became the patron saint of France. The relic of the remaining half of his cloak was deemed to be so important that the kings of France used it as a royal banner in war, and they swore sacred oaths upon it.

The story of Martin should remind us that God judges each one of us daily, through every single one of our actions. Perhaps we can ponder the thought this Lent and make changes to our life as we moved towards Easter.


Lord Jesus Christ,
may we treat each opportunity to help others
as a challenge to help You this Lent.
May we follow the example of Martin of Tours
in being generous with our belongings,
our help, and our love,
until our actions become part of our nature
and as natural as breathing.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to play these hymns and enjoy singing them:

Or this hymns by Lakewood Presbyterian Choir during lockdown - it's not polished but it really works with the words of the song:

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