Separating the Sheep and Goats

In Matthew 25 we find Jesus still talking about this Kingdom of Heaven and the second coming of the Son of Man. Specifically, what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like when He comes. We find that when he comes he will be seated on a throne, in front of all the nations and that he will separate the people like a shepherd separates the sheep and goats.

An interesting picture and one very familiar to his audience. You see sheep and goats are very different. Sheep learn to trust the shepherd, to listen and follow. Goats, they tend to make their own paths. They ignore the shepherd and wander off.

In Jesus story, the sheep will be placed on the right side and the goats on the left. Those placed on the right will be invited into the inheritance prepared. Those on the left, not so much.

The King says to the sheep, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you made me your guest, I needed clothes and you provided them, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

To the goats the King says, “For I was hungry and you game me no food, thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, a stranger and you did not welcome me, needing clothes and you did not give them to me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”

Both groups reply, “When did we see you hungry, when did we see you thirsty ? When did we see you a stranger, or needing clothes? When did we see you sick and in prison?”

And the King answers the sheep, “I tell you whenever you did these things for one of the least important of these brothers of mine, you did them for me!”

To the goats he replies, “I tell you whenever you refused to do it for the least important of these people, you refused to do it for me.”

The sheep hear the shepherd and do what he asks of them, and they will inherit the Kingdom prepared and eternal life. The goats, they think they know a better way, and they ignore the voice of the shepherd. They don’t do what he asks of them, and in the end, eternal punishment awaits.

God says that when we help the least of those created in his image we are helping him. Our actions, how we care for or ignore the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, those in need, the sick or the prisoner demonstrate what we believe more than the words of our creeds. It is our actions that reveal our true beliefs. It is our actions, not our words, that reveal if we are sheep or goats.

When you look at the needy, broken people around you what do you see? Do you see an opportunity to serve God, or do you simply look the other way.

This post was purely for me. Thanks for stopping by to read it. I hope you got something out of it as well.

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