Matthew 25:41 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 25:41, NIV: Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:41, ESV: “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Matthew 25:41, KJV: Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Matthew 25:41, NASB: 'Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you accursed people, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

Matthew 25:41, NLT: 'Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, 'Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.

Matthew 25:41, CSB: "Then he will also say to those on the left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!

What does Matthew 25:41 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

After a time on earth of great suffering and tribulation (Matthew 24:21–22), Jesus has finally returned as the King and the Judge (Matthew 25:31–32). Sitting on His throne, He has gathered people before Him and divided them into two groups, labelled as "sheep" and "goats" (Matthew 25:33) The reason for this symbolism is simply that of separating two similar-but-different sets of people. Those hearing Christ's words in person would have been familiar with shepherding; splitting up sheep and goats when bringing them in for the night was apparently a standard practice.

The group known as the "goats," on the King's left hand, have listened as Jesus has welcomed the other group, the sheep, to accept their rightful places in His kingdom on earth. He has described that group as blessed by His Father and declared that He has received every act of kindness they have done for the least of His brothers, other believers, as being done for Him personally (Matthew 25:34–40).

Turning to the second group, Christ delivers a very different message. He calls them cursed and banishes them to the same eternal destination as Satan and his demons. Unlike the first group, these people were clearly not believers in Jesus—proven by the fact that they were not faithful to Him while He was away. Upcoming verses will explore the same dynamic as Jesus explained to saved believers: that their service to others, in obedience to Him, was proof of the legitimacy of their faith (John 13:31–35; 14:15; 1 John 3:11).

In the Bible, demons are angels who joined Satan in His rebellion against God. During His earthly ministry, Jesus cast many demons out of afflicted people (Mark 1:34). His description of them here shows Satan is ultimately responsible for the hordes of fallen angels who serve with him against God. They are all destined for an eternal fire (Mark 9:48), which is the same place human souls who rejected Christ will inhabit (Mark 9:43).