The Judgment of the Nations

Posted by Thaddaeus

Matthew 25: 31-46

Jesus said to his disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him.  And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.  Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.  Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me,  ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’  Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?  When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’  And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’  Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’  Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’  He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’  And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”


Background:  In ancient Israel, the phrase “son of man” is a Jewish way of saying human being.  It is used 93 times in the Book of Ezekiel in reference to the prophet, where the phrase simply means a human being.  However, the phrase “Son of Man,” in reference to Jesus, means something altogether different.  It is a Messianic title found in the Book of Daniel.  The most ancient references to it come to us from the Essenes, a sect of Judaism that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century AD.  Their origin is lost in pre-history.  According to 1st century historian, Josephus, and Jewish-philosopher, Philo of Alexandria, the roots of the Essenes are incredibly ancient.  Josephus writes that the Essenes exist from time immemorial and countless generations.  Philo refers to them the most ancient of all initiates.  Pliny the Roman calls them a race unto themselves.  Tradition holds that their founder is Enoch.


The Judgment of the Nations:  Enoch is the 8th generation from Adam and great-grandfather of Noah.  8 symbolizes infinity.  The New Testament refers to Jesus as the Son of Man 88 times.  88 symbolizes the double directions of the infinity of the universe: the Alpha and the Omega.  The most ancient references to the phrase, Son of Man, can be found in the Book of Enoch.  Early Church Fathers consider it the same canonical authority as the Book of Psalms.  The Blessed Mother’s ancestry is Essene.  When Jesus uses the phrase, he is assigns the Messianic title to Himself.  The use of this title brings about His crucifixion.  The Son of Man is eternal.  Both human and divine.  The nations will answer to Him.  The criterion of judgment will be the deeds of mercy.  Both the righteous and the accursed will be astonished that their care or neglect of suffers is counted as their care or neglect for the Son of Man, Himself.