A ‘new’ version of Matthew chapter 25: verses 31-46

The following paraphrase of Matthew 25 was first found at a Conference. It can be found on the MHA website under the MHA Sunday resources

It is a (dangerous and subversive?) mixture of the original text and (in italics) a modern day interpretive paraphrase of the relevant verses…………

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put 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; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was waiting for my meal while the care staff were quietly feeding others and you picked up a spoon to help me eat; I was thirsty – I had spilled the juice earlier – and you took the beaker and helped me to hold it to my mouth; I was a new resident, unknown to you, yet you smiled the smile of peace and acceptance; I had pulled my skirt up above my knees and you helped me preserve my dignity by gently pulling it down and straightening it around my waist; I was shouting for help across the room and you came and touched my hand and blessed me; I felt I was in a prison – the locked doors, a final barrier to my freedom, and you came to reassure me that this was my home where others worked to help me, not their workplace where I was an inconvenient intrusion; I was confused and stressed and you played music to me, you read to me, you showed me pictures and laughed with me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you in such a state of distress and respond in practical compassion?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these broken people of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry for love and you showed me nothing of Christ in your brief and cursory call; I was thirsty for recognition as a disabled but nevertheless a human being made in God’s image, crying out incoherently, and you turned a deaf ear to me; I was unknown to you and you looked at me strangely with a look of disapproval; I felt naked without any of the normal graces to cover my shame, yet you criticized me before others for being an objectionable old woman; I was sick in mind and soul but you gave me no comfort; I was imprisoned within my troubled imagination and you piously ignored me and failed to come and visit me. I was lonely and distressed, but you refused to comfort me, to use the gifts God had given to you for my benefit and the benefit of others – we, the poor in spirit.

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you in such a state of distress and fail to respond in practical compassion?’

“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”