This passage is often interpreted as a call to serve others and to show compassion and love to those in need. Jesus speaks of a final judgment, where the righteous are rewarded for their actions, and he lists a number of good deeds that people have done for him, such as feeding him, giving him drink, welcoming him, clothing him, visiting him when he was sick, and visiting him in prison.
Jesus goes on to explain that when people serve others in these ways, they are actually serving him. He says in verse 40, "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." This statement reinforces the idea that serving others is a way of serving God and that we should treat others with the same love and respect that we would show to Jesus himself.
Matthew 25:34-36 is part of a longer passage in which Jesus is teaching his disciples about the end times and the final judgment. In this passage, Jesus speaks of separating people into two groups, the righteous (symbolized by sheep) and the unrighteous (symbolized by goats). He tells those on his right, the sheep, that they will inherit the kingdom of God, and he explains why they are being rewarded.
Jesus lists a number of actions that the righteous have taken, such as feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming strangers, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and visiting prisoners. By listing these actions, Jesus is emphasizing the importance of serving others, especially those who are in need. He is saying that we should not only be concerned with our own well-being but should also look for ways to help others.
The passage also emphasizes the idea that serving others is a way of serving God. When we help those in need, we are showing love and compassion to Jesus himself, as he identifies with the least of his brothers and sisters. This idea underscores the importance of treating others with kindness and respect, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Finally, the passage highlights the reward that the righteous will receive for their actions. They will inherit the kingdom of God, which has been prepared for them since the foundation of the world. This emphasizes the eternal significance of our actions and the importance of living a life that is focused on serving God and others.
Overall, these verses are a powerful reminder of the importance of serving others and the connection between our actions and our relationship with God. It teaches us to look for opportunities to help those in need and to treat others with love and compassion, knowing that our actions are ultimately serving Jesus himself.
See also: vs 37-40
Matthew 25:34-36. ‘Come, 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 to eat. 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.’