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Matthew 25 Commentary


Please choose a passage to read our commentary:

Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus tells an extended parable about the kingdom of heaven and His return, likening them to a bridegroom coming for His bride late at night. As ten bridesmaids wait for his coming they fall asleep. Five of them were wise and brought extra oil for their lamps. Five were foolish and did not. When the bridesmaids wake up, the wise ones were able to participate in the procession and wedding feast, while the foolish ones missed this opportunity. The bridegroom did not approve of them when they returned. Jesus warns the disciples to be alert for His return.

Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus tells another parable about the kingdom of heaven and His return, likening them to a man who entrusts his estate to his servants while he is away on a long journey. He respectively entrusts five, two, and one talent(s) to three servants according to their abilities. The first two servants use this money to double his investment. The single talent servant digs a hole and buries the money entrusted to him. When the master returns, he settles the accounts with each of his servants. He rewards the first two servants for their faithfulness by giving them greater responsibilities and invites them to enter into the joy of their master. But he reprimands and demotes the third servant for his wicked laziness.

Matthew 25:31-46

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: “The Context of the Parable” Jesus ends His Olivet Discourse with a teaching about a series of Divine judgments. This teaching is known as “The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats.” It is the final parable of four that discuss His return.

Matthew 25:31

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: “The Opening Remark” Jesus begins His teaching of “the Sheep and the Goats” by saying that when the Son of Man comes in His glory He will sit on His glorious throne.

Matthew 25:32-33

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: “The First Judgment: Sorting the Sheep from the Goats” Jesus uses the metaphor of a shepherd separating the sheep from the goats to describe what will happen during the first of three judgments to occur. This image establishes the tone for the entire teaching that follows.

Matthew 25:34

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: “The Second Judgment: The Reward of the Righteous” Jesus says that the King will address the righteous sheep after they have been sorted to His right. He will call them “blessed of My Father” and invite them to inherit the kingdom that was prepared from them from the foundation of the world. This is the second of three judgments the parable describes.

Matthew 25:35-40

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: “The Life Choices of the Righteous” The King will explain how the inheritance for the sheep was based on the way they treated Him through various acts of kindness and mercy during their lives on earth. The righteous will ask when they ever served Him. The King will reply that to the extent they served others, it was counted as if they served Him.

Matthew 25:41

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: “The Third Judgment: The Banishment of the Accursed” Jesus says that the King will address the accursed goats who were sorted to His left. This judgment will happen after the King rewarded the sheep. He will call them “accursed ones” and banish them into the eternal fire that was prepared for the devil and his angels. This is the third of three judgments the parable describes.

Matthew 25:42-45

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: “The Life Choices of the Accursed” The King will explain how their punishment was for the way they did not serve Him when He was destitute during their lives on earth. The accursed will ask when they ever refused to serve Him. The King will reply that to the extent they did not serve others, it was counted as if they did not serve Him.

Matthew 25:46

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats: “The Closing Remark” Jesus concludes His teaching about the Judgments regarding the Sheep and the Goats with a short summary statement. He explains that the goats will go into the eternal fire while the sheep will go into eternal life. This also concludes His teachings about the end of the age and His return in the Olivet Discourse.