Most often when I come across the latter portion of Matthew 25 I think I tend to focus very quickly on sheep and goats . . . on those on the right hand side and those on the left . . . on those who are invited to “Come, inherit the kingdom” and those who are told, “Depart into everlasting fire” . . . on those who minister to “the least of these” and thus, to Jesus, and those who do not. All very important stuff . . . the good and the bad . . . the in and the out . . . the blessed and the cursed . . . but what of the pivot point?
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. (Matthew 25:31)
Before you get to sheep and goats, you have the Shepherd . . . before the “come” or “depart” you have the Judge . . . before “the least of these” you have “the Greatest of All” . . . King Jesus!
It is not “if” the Son of Man will come in His glory, but when. The descent is already planned . . . all that remains is for the Father to say to the Son, “Return!” and then the Son will return in the same manner as He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:11). The timing is determined . . . though that is kept a closely held secret of the Father alone (Matt. 24:36). Jesus’ main point in these final parables in Matthew is to emphasize the certainty of the “when” and to encourage His people to be ready.
And when He comes it will be in all His glory and encompassed with a host of angels. No more “isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” (Mark 13:55) . . . no more “can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46) . . . lowly Jesus will return as the glorious Son of Man. There will be no doubt that this is heaven’s best. Arrayed in splendor . . . robed in light . . . the Son of Man will return and His glory will cause darkness to flee. To behold Him will be to behold the Light of Heaven. To see Him will be to gaze upon unimaginable beauty. The holiness of God . . . the glory of God . . . will emanate from Him at His return . . . and those on earth who see His return will have no doubt of His right to reign.
And reign He will . . . He will sit on the throne of His glory. This is King Jesus! That He is the Sovereign will be evident. His majesty, His authority, His right to rule . . . all apparent . . . apparent to all. He will sit on the throne as the Judge . . . and many will try to flee from His presence. He will sit on the throne as the Justifier . . . and many will fall facedown in praise and worship.
Behold the Son of Man . . . behold the Great Shepherd . . . behold the King . . . behold MY King!
Oh, by the grace of God, I am among those who invite His return . . . who look to the eastern sky in anticipation . . . who desire to see Him enthroned in glory.
Thanks be to God for allowing me to see the Shepherd amidst the sheep and goats. Thanks to Him alone for whatever degree I grasp the glory of His majesty and the beauty of His holiness and am led to bow in worship. He is worthy of my praise . . .
All Hail, King Jesus!