29 May 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 25:31-46 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ 37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ (Matthew 25:31–40 NLT)
Jesus gives his hearers (and us) a list of the specific behaviors that determine whether one is grouped with the sheep or the goats, whether one is righteous or unrighteous, and whether one is headed for eternal life or eternal punishment.
Sheep: Fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, welcomed strangers, clothed the naked, cared for the sick, visited those in prison. And all the while the sheep were doing these compassionate things for others, they were doing them to Jesus.
Goats: Did not feed the hungry, did not give drink to the thirsty, did not welcome strangers, did not clothe the naked, did not care for the sick, did not visit those in prison. And all the while they were denying these compassionate actions to others, they were denying them to Jesus.
Now, friends, let’s make a list of some other things we would tend to include in the Sheep list that Jesus didn’t include. Then, make another list of some things we would tend to include in the Goat list that Jesus didn’t include. Then let’s tear up our lists and stick with the list Jesus gave us! (James 1:27) (Luke 4:18-19)
Father, Here we are, shaped by 2000 years of Christian religion! Please help us change our minds and purify our hearts and see with Jesus’ eyes what really matters. Amen!