Jesus Verse by Verse

an expanded commentary on the Gospel of Matthew

Jesus Verse by Verse...

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Digression 30: A Chronology Of Judgment?

Different parables of judgment give different aspects of the judgment. It may be that we can put them all together and build up a time sequence of the process of judgment. Or it may be that the judgment will be different for each of us, and the parables reflect the different cases which the Lord (even in His humanity) foresaw coming before Him at the judgment. For the rejected, the process may be like this:
Firstly, incomprehension (Mt. 25:37) and surprised anger, then realization of the Lord's verdict.
He points out their failings,
Then they give an explanation of their behaviour (Mt. 25:24), justifying themselves (Mt. 25:44).
The Lord asks a series of questions, to which there is no answer.
Then there is the speechlessness (Mt. 22:12),
Followed by an ashamed slinking away from the judgment (1 Jn. 2:28 Gk.),
A desire to escape but having no place to run (Heb. 2:3, quoting Is. 20:6 concerning the inability of men to escape from the approach of the invincible Assyrian army). The rejected will see that the Lord is coming against them with an army much stronger than theirs, and they have missed the chance to make peace (Lk. 14:31).
It surely isn't incidental that this is exactly the pattern of events which the men went through who beheld the Lord's crucifixion. It's this correspondence which makes me lean towards the idea that the descriptions of the judgment are intended to be read as chronological fragments from the rejection of those who crucify the Lord afresh.