On July 31, the Facebook page The Other 98% shared a screenshot of a tweet about “Matthew 25,” a Bible verse purportedly describing how followers of Christianity should regard the “poor, marginalized, and incarcerated” in society:
The ‘Matthew 25’ Tweet
In “The Other 98%”‘s (slightly different than the above) screenshot of the tweet, neither the date nor Twitter’s statistics were included. Attributed to Mika Edmondson (@mika_edmondson), the tweet’s text read:
In Matthew 25, Jesus describes true converts as being marked by a peculiar empathy toward the poor, marginalized, and incarcerated.
But he describes false coverts as being outwardly religious but marked by a peculiar callousness toward the poor, marginalized, & incarcerated.
Edmondson was an active Twitter user who frequently tweeted about scripture, but we were initially unable to find that statement among their recent tweets, as search on the platform is no longer particularly useful:
Eventually, we located the tweet in the screenshot. It was from December 22 2021, and was otherwise presented accurately:
In the tweet, Edmonson said “Jesus describes true converts as being marked by a peculiar empathy toward the poor, marginalized, and incarcerated” in “Matthew 25”; Edmondson added that false converts were “outwardly religious but marked by a peculiar callousness toward the poor, marginalized, & incarcerated” by contrast.
“Matthew 25” was part of the Bible’s “New Testament,” as the Gospel of Matthew. Myriad Bible study websites hosted versions of Matthew 25, with dropdown options for different iterations of the Bible. BibleGateway.com was one such resource, hosting the entirety of Matthew 25.
Matthew 25 consisted of two “parables” as told by Jesus — stories used to illustrate moral or spiritual lessons. Matthew 25 began with “The Parable of the Ten Virgins” and “The Parable of the Bags of Gold,” concluding with “The Sheep and the Goats.”
“The Sheep and the Goats” portion of Matthew 25:31-46 addressed the return of the Messiah. It contained many commonly quoted Bible verses, and in its entirety read:
The Sheep and the Goats
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
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? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “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. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
In other words, Edmonson’s tweet accurately summarized Matthew 25 — in particular, Matthew 25:31-46.
A July 31 2023 post from Facebook page “The Other 98%” about Matthew 25 spread virally. It asserted that “Jesus describes true converts as being marked by a peculiar empathy toward the poor, marginalized, and incarcerated” in Matthew 25. The tweet was real (but not new), and it accurately summarized the third portion of Matthew 25.