Re. Separating Sheep from Goats!
Eric Weiss (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sat, 25 Jan 1997 14:47:04 -0600
I sought an allusion to the Old Testament for this passage, and Matthew
25:31ff, despite the problems this interpretation might raise, seems to
be very closely related to Joel 3:1-3 - the gathering of the nations for
judgment for how they have treated God's people. When Jesus calls the
persecuted here his "brothers," he seems to be referring either to the
Jewish people's treatment by the gentiles/nations, or his community of
believers' treatment by the unbelievers (Jewish and Gentile?) - I don't
see Jesus identifying himself here with all the poor and oppressed of
the world. I know many rescue missions and jail ministries, etc., use
Matthew 25:31ff as the basis for their ministry, but I think they are
contextually in error to do so.
"Eric S. Weiss"