Q. Can you please explain again how Messiah was meaning His Jewish brethren when talking about “if you did it to the least of these my brothers, you were doing it to me”, and how it means we should be helping the Jews today, whether monetarily or otherwise. Someone I’m talking to thinks it only means fellow believers, and I don’t think that’s entirely correct. Am I wrong in my thinking?
A. First let’s get the timing right so we can identify the intended audience. Your quote is from Matt. 25:40, part of the so-called Sheep and Goat judgment. (Matt. 25:31-46) The passage begins with the phrase “When the son of man comes in His glory … ” (Matt. 25:31) This indicates the timing is just after the 2nd Coming.
The event He was speaking of is the judgment of Tribulation Survivors, believers and unbelievers who will have survived the Great Tribulation and are still alive on Earth at its end. Believers are going to be rewarded for their faith and received into the Millennial Kingdom on Earth in their natural states (Matt. 25:34-36). They’ll help re-populate the Earth. Unbelievers will be removed from the planet to join the devil and his angels in the place prepared for them, and will be seen no more (Matt. 25:41-43). The Lord will use their treatment of His brethren as evidence of their heart condition toward Him since aiding Jews during the Great Tribulation will be a serious offense against the anti-Christ’s government, and only a true believer would take such a risk.
This doesn’t mean that it’s not our job to help the less fortunate in the here and now. It just means that Matt 25:31-46 is intended for tribulation survivors, not the Church.
Remember these two things. First, the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24-25) was meant for Israel, and second, everything after Matt. 24:36 will take place at or following the 2nd Coming.