Matthew 25:31-45 is probably a familiar scripture passage for many of you. It is “the sheep and the goats”. One thing that has always stuck out for me is verse 40 which reads “Then the king will reply to them, ‘I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.” Emphasis added because in verse 45 “brothers and sisters of mine” is not there.
Just a few years ago I read one person explain this by saying that Jesus is calling us to help the hungry, thirsty, stranger,
naked, sick, and those in prison only if they are already “in the household of faith”. This struck me as a way to interpret
scripture to justify what the person is doing, or willing to do. One problem with this interpretation that I see is that when addressing the “goats”, who have not helped those who may be outside the household of faith, the goats still “will go away into eternal punishment” in verse 45.
Instead I’m inclined to think Jesus is telling us to see others as brothers and sisters regardless of any religious faith, because he does.