Clear Right & Wrong

Text:  Matthew 25:31-46 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Scripture Reading: 

Matthew 25:31-46 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The King Will Judge All People

31 “The Son of Man will come again in his great glory. All his angels will come with him. He will be King and sit on his great throne. 32 All the people of the world will be gathered before him. Then he will separate them into two groups as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 The Son of Man will put the sheep, the good people, on his right and the goats, the bad people, on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to the good people on his right, ‘Come. My Father has given you his blessing. Come and receive the kingdom God has prepared for you since the world was made. 35 I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. 36 I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then the good people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you alone and away from home and invite you into our house? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?’

40 “Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth. Anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me.’

41 “Then the King will say to those on his left, ‘Go away from me. God has said that you will be punished. Go into the fire that burns forever. That fire was prepared for the devil and his helpers. 42 I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink. 43 I was alone and away from home, and you did not invite me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me nothing to wear. I was sick and in prison, and you did not care for me.’

44 “Then those people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty? When did we see you alone and away from home? Or when did we see you without clothes or sick or in prison? When did we see these things and not help you?’

45 “Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth. Anything you refused to do for any of my people here, you refused to do for me.’

46 “These people will go off to be punished forever. But the good people will go to live forever.”

Reflection: I appreciate how clearly this passage describes what we are to do and what we are not to do. I feel like the author is talking to me like I’m a little kid who has asked the writer many many questions trying to find the loopholes to what I’ve been told to do. I can even hear in the tone of the passage that the author has reached the level of frustration that they are including  threats of “the fire that burns forever.” 

Do you remember a time when a parent had to make things this clear and retreated to using threats to get you to do something? Have you had to do this as a parent? Why do you think we don’t just do the right thing to start with? Why do we make things harder than they need to be?

Prayer: Hi God! Sorry for all of the times I’ve been stubborn and worked against making this world a better place for all people. Please forgive me and help me to use my energy for good. Amen.

Focus for the Day: Clear Right & Wrong

Author: Rachel Dudley, Director of Children’s Ministry

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