The Judgment of the Nations in The Book of “Matthew”
The Judgment of the Nations in The Book of “Matthew”

The Judgment of the Nations in The Book of “Matthew”

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The book of “Matthew” was authored by the Apostle Matthew. The book is the first gospel of the New Testament. Various estimates have accorded the composition date of Matthew to be anywhere around AD 50- to AD 100.footnoteRef:2 The fact that Mark was written first proves Luke and Matthew made use of the Mark’s text as basis and root for some reasons. Matthew accomplished his work before the demolition of the temple in AD 70.footnoteRef:3 He mentions the happening of the termination of the temple in the chapter Twenty-Four of his Gospel. The Jews was the main audience of the book of Matthew. His main focus was on the fulfillment and accomplishment of the Old Testament. The phrase, “The heaven’s Kingdom” is only used in the Matthew’s text to familiarize himself with the Jews. The phrase was only common to the Jews, a clear implication of reverential expression of the Jews. Hence the book was written to Jews. His story was meant to prove to the Jews that Jesus Christ was the main and expected Messiah. Matthew’s account on the resurrection and genealogy were true proofs of Jesus Christ as the true Messiah.footnoteRef:4 The purpose of this paper will be to look at the annotated bibliography of the passage of Matthew that is commonly referred to as the “The Judgment of the Nations”: MATTHEW 25:31-46. 2: Gardner, Richard B., Believers Church Bible Commentary: Matthew (Scott

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dale, Pennsylvania: Herald Press, 1990) Bruner, Frederick Dale, Matthew: Volume 2, The Churchbook, Matthew 13-28 (Dallas: Word, 1990)

MATTHEW 25:31-46. “THE JUDGMENT OF GENTILE NATION” is most of the times referred to as “The Judgment of the Nations”. The verses 31-46 in this chapter have often been named “The Parable of the Sheep and Goats”. The parable has parabolic turns and twists of all times. Hence the unique name. The parable has a lot of surprises.footnoteRef:5 The sheep represent the followers of Jesus Christ whereas the goats represent the wrong doers who will face the eternal fire if they do not change before the judgment day comes. Jesus makes many surprises with his unrighteous (v. 45) and the righteous (vv. 37-39) with His judgment. Matthew write this verse to show Jews and the Christians the eschatology (the end of time) that Jesus Christ had foreseen. The verse describes and illustrates the exact future occurrence. “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but goats on the left” (vv. 31-33). Both the vision and the title of “Son of Man” originate from Daniel 7:13-14. The phrase of “Son of Man” has a modest connection to it, on the contrast; there is no simplicity in the illustration of the Son of Man in this case. The text of Matthews demonstrates to the Christian that Jesus Christ comes with

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glory and power. This is good news to the God fearing Christians. Moreover, the text tells us that Jesus’ first coming showed He came to act as a servant to the whole world (Philippians 2:5-11). The humble beginning of the life of Jesus meant that he came to live among us, completely full of the truth and grace (John 1:14) and bring the mankind close to himself (John 12:32). 5: Ibid

Matthew also wrote the scripture on “The Judgment of the Gentile” to enlighten the Christians on the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The text notes that His second coming will mark the time when no justified reason would work as a function of simple and humble circumstances. Therefore, Jesus will come back to the world in all his power and glory, with all the angels of the heaven sitting on the throne of God and with all the nations converged in front of Him. This passage also reveals to the Christians and nations the titles of Jesus Christ: Son of Man (v. 31), Shepherd (v. 32), King (v. 34, 40) and Lord (vv. 337, 44). The passage reveals to us that Jesus is the Son of God sent to redeem God’s people. Furthermore, Jesus Christ has the power to pronounce judgment on the nations. The Discourse of the Eschatological winds up with “The Judgment of the Nations” (Matthew 25:31-46). The passage portrays The Judgment Day and faithfulness is the only determinant of readiness (v. 40). The passage calls for Christian to get ready for the second coming of The Messiah by strengthening their faith in God through His Son. The words “Shepherd” and “Sheep” are used in the passage to imply God and God’s people respectively. In the judgment, the left hand is for disfavor while the right hand id for the favored ones.footnoteRef:6 6: Craddock, Fred B.; Hayes, John H.; Holladay, Carl R.; Tucker, Gene M., Preaching Through the Christian Year, A (Valley Forge: Trinity Press International, 1992)

MATTHEW 25:34-40

“Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘come, blessed of the 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 thirty, and you gave water to drink. I was a stranger, and talked to 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.’ The righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you as a stranger, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink? When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison and come to you? ‘The King will answer them, most certainly I tell you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of my brothers (Greek: adelphon mou- my brothers) you did it to me.”footnoteRef:7 The verse above shows how Jesus came up with the knowledge of service to the poor and the needy. The law of Torah interpreted

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