This last judgment section is unique to Matthew. Jesus said that these left side goat unrighteous people would go into a long eternal torment or punishment (καὶ ἀπελεύσονται οὗτοι εἰς κόλασιν αἰώνιον), while the righteous would go into a long eternal life existence (οἱ δὲ δίκαιοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον). The reward or punishment was simple, eternal torment or eternal life.
This last judgment section is unique to Matthew. Jesus said that the king or the Son of Man would answer them (τότε ἀποκριθήσεται αὐτοῖς) with a solemn proclamation (λέγων Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν). They had not helped the least of these people or the small ones as he called them (ἐφ’ ὅσον οὐκ ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἐλαχίστων). No longer is this just about family members or brothers, they were neglecting or not helping him (οὐδὲ ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε) these not important people. The weak or the lesser people were part of God’s family. Failure to treat them correctly was a failure to treat Jesus correctly.
This last judgment section is unique to Matthew. Jesus said that these people on the left answered him by calling him “Lord” (τότε ἀποκριθήσονται καὶ αὐτοὶ λέγοντες Κύριε). They wanted to know when was it that they saw him hungry (πότε σε εἴδομεν πεινῶντα), thirsty (ἢ διψῶντα), or as a stranger (ἢ ξένον)? When did they see him naked (ἢ γυμνὸν), sick (ἢ ἀσθενῆ), or in prison (ἢ ἐν φυλακῇ)? When did they not take care of him or not serve him (καὶ οὐ διηκονήσαμέν σοι)? They could not remember seeing him in any of these conditions.
This last judgment section is unique to Matthew, as he reversed the sayings about the righteous sheep against these goat people. Here in a first person singular response, Jesus said that he was hungry and they did not give him anything to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν). He was thirsty and they did not give anything to drink (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ οὐκ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν). He was a stranger or foreigner and they did not welcome him or take him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ οὐ συνηγάγετέ με). He was naked and they did not give him any clothes (γυμνὸς καὶ οὐ περιεβάλετέ με). He was sick and in prison and they did not visit him (ἀσθενὴς καὶ ἐν φυλακῇ καὶ οὐκ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με). They had failed in the corporal works of mercy, not the legal following of the Mosaic Law.
This last judgment section is unique to Matthew. Jesus said that the king turned to those goats on his left side (τότε ἐρεῖ καὶ τοῖς ἐξ εὐωνύμων). He wanted these goat people to leave him and go away (Πορεύεσθε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ). He called them cursed (κατηραμένοι). They were to go into the eternal fire (εἰς τὸ πῦρ τὸ αἰώνιον) that had been prepared for the devil and his angels (τὸ ἡτοιμασμένον τῷ διαβόλῳ καὶ τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ). They were to depart from the king and be cursed to join the devil and his angels in the eternal fire that had been prepared for the devil. Thus, we have the basis for the classic Christian teaching of eternal heaven with God, the Father, Jesus, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for the righteous or the eternal fire of hell with the devil and his companions for the evil or wicked people. This was the final judgment awaiting all people.
This last judgment section is unique to Matthew. The king, not the Son of Man, answered them (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Βασιλεὺς ἐρεῖ αὐτοῖς) with a solemn declaration (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that if they did it to the least of his brothers (ἐφ’ ὅσον ἐποιήσατε ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν ἀδελφῶν μου τῶν ἐλαχίστων), they did it to him (ἐμοὶ ἐποιήσατε). Caring for the needy weak brothers of Jesus was also caring for Jesus himself. They were all part of one big happy family.
This last judgment section is unique to Matthew. Jesus then said that the righteous ones answered the Lord (τότε ἀποκριθήσονται αὐτῷ οἱ δίκαιοι λέγοντες Κύριε). They wanted to know when they had seen him hungry and gave him food (πότε σε εἴδομεν πεινῶντα καὶ ἐθρέψαμεν)? When was he thirsty and they gave him something to drink (ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν)? When was he a stranger and they welcomed him (ἢ διψῶντα καὶ ἐποτίσαμεν)? When was he naked and they gave him some clothing (ἢ γυμνὸν καὶ περιεβάλομεν)? When was he sick (πότε δέ σε εἴδομεν ἀσθενοῦντα)? When was in prison (ἢ ἐν φυλακῇ)? When did they visit him (καὶ ἤλθομεν πρός σε)? They wanted to know when did all these activities take place?
This last judgment section is unique to Matthew. Jesus said to the sheep on the right side that they had taken care of him. He said that when he was hungry, they gave him food to eat (ἐπείνασα γὰρ καὶ ἐδώκατέ μοι φαγεῖν). When he was thirsty, they gave him something to drink (ἐδίψησα καὶ ἐποτίσατέ με). When he was a stranger, they kindly took him in (ξένος ἤμην καὶ συνηγάγετέ με). When he was naked, they gave him clothes to wear (γυμνὸς καὶ περιεβάλετέ με). When he was sick, they visited and took care of him (ἠσθένησα καὶ ἐπεσκέψασθέ με). When he was in prison, they came to visit him (ἐν φυλακῇ ἤμην καὶ ἤλθατε πρός με). All of this was in the first person singular. This sounds like the beatitudes mentioned earlier in chapter 5:3-11, but here they are more specific and personal.
This last judgment section is unique to Matthew. The right side is always the good side. Jesus said that the king, not the Son of Man, would tell those at his right hand (τότε ἐρεῖ ὁ Βασιλεὺς τοῖς ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ) that they had been blessed by his Father (οἱ εὐλογημένοι τοῦ Πατρός μου). They would come (Δεῦτε) to inherit the kingdom (κληρονομήσατε…βασιλείαν), since it had been prepared for them (τὴν ἡτοιμασμένην ὑμῖν) from the foundation or inception of the world (ἀπὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου). The righteous right-side sheep would inherit the kingdom of heaven that had been prepared for them since the beginning of time. This almost sounds like predestination.
This last judgment section is unique to Matthew. Jesus said that all the gentile nations would be gathered before him (καὶ συναχθήσονται ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ πάντα τὰ ἔθνη). Then he would separate them from each other (καὶ ἀφορίσει αὐτοὺς ἀπ’ ἀλλήλων). Just like a shepherd separated the sheep from the goats (ὥσπερ ὁ ποιμὴν ἀφορίζει τὰ πρόβατα ἀπὸ τῶν ἐρίφων), he would place the sheep at his right hand (καὶ στήσει τὰ μὲν πρόβατα ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ). Then he would place the goats at his left hand (τὰ δὲ ἐρίφια ἐξ εὐωνύμων). The divine judgment of Yahweh was a common biblical theme. Here it is the Son of Man who judges everyone. On the right side are the just righteous sheep, while on the left side are the wild or bad goats, a common generic theme. Good is to the right, just as right-handed people are good. Left-handed people are looked at with suspicion, as are left leaning policies.