Jesus now closes his teaching to the disciples about what will happen in the future. He first teaches the importance of being ready in verses 1-13 (cf. 24:42-44): those who are wise do whatever is necessary so they are ready for when he will return, just like those in a wedding party. Such demonstrate their faith in what Jesus said, that he will come at an unannounced time.
Jesus then taught them in verses 14-30 that when he returns every person will give an account of themselves. If they lived for Christ, they will enter the kingdom, experience great joy, and serve the King. If they lived for themselves, they will be cast into hell and suffer greatly.
In verses 31-46 Jesus closed with more teaching about the judgment that will occur after he returns and before he establishes his kingdom. Jesus’ primary criterion of judgment then will be how professed believers cared for one another (v. 40), in other words, if their love for other believers was seen by care and support.
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Jesus is coming again and at any time. Never believe anyone who sets dates for Jesus’ return! Always be ready (vv. 1-13), always faithfully serve him no matter who you are (vv. 14-30), and always love the lowest of his saints (vv. 31-46)!
- Verse 40 is regularly mishandled by many believers today, who say that “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these” refers to Christian aid that meets various physical and social needs of the down and out. Jesus clearly identifies who he means by “the least of these” when he immediately says “my brethren.”