Matthew 25:37 …
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink?”
To begin this verse, it was the righteous that answered the Lord, not the wicked. The good people, the believers, wanted to know when the Lord was hungry or thirsty and did not minister to him. Yahweh attributes to the believers that which they do through His influence, as if they had done it independently of Him. Yahweh has a right to form what estimate He pleases of the works performed through Him. Man is never safe until he attributes all to his Maker.
The King’s statement prompted the sheep to respond that they do not recall ever having ministered directly to the King. The King answered that they performed those services for the least of these brothers of the King, and by so doing were ministering to the King. The sheep inherited the eternal kingdom, and inheritance was based on Israelite birth. Because they had been born again through faith, they inherited the kingdom in 74 A.D..
That which was here rewarded is the relieving of the poor believers for Christ’s sake, out of love to him, and with an eye to him. This puts an excellency upon the good work, when in it the Israelites served the Lord Christ, which those may do that work for their own living, as well as those that help to keep others alive. Those good works shall then be accepted which are done in the name of the Lord Jesus. Jesus was hungry, that is, my disciples and followers were so, by the persecutions of enemies for well-doing. For in these things there is one event to the righteous and you gave them food. Note the circumstances of his people in the Israelite world, as that while some were in a condition to give relief, others needed it. It is no new thing for those that are feasted with the dainties of heaven to be hungry and thirsty, and to want daily food; for those that are at home in Yahweh, to be strangers in a strange land; for those that have put on Christ, to want clothes to keep them warm; for those that have healthful bodies, to have sickly bodies; and for those to be in prison, that Christ has made free. But they that show no mercy shall have judgment without mercy. Jesus is especially pleased with kindnesses done to his people for his sake. Saints in heaven will wonder what brought them there, and that Yahweh should so regard them and their services. Christ is more among us than we think he is; surely the Lord is in this place, by his word, his ordinances, his ministers, his Spirit, yea, and his poor, and we know it not.