Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 25 v 31-46 have challenged me for decades. It is the parable of “The sheep and Goats.
In the Middle East sheep and goats are often difficult to distinguish. In a trip to family in Oman some years ago looking from a distance at shepherds looking after their animals I got it wrong! The sheep were goats!
There is coming a day when the King, Jesus, will “separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” The sheep will be on His Right.
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. 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came and visited me.” The righteous are known not by the words alone but by the fruit of our lived out, incarnational lives.
We don’t keep record of deeds done or “stuff” given. We are to live for the Glory of God – And He records it all.
I know that this parable is about Judgement and Eternal punishment. Jesus makes it plain that those who reject Him will be judged and sent from His presence. But this parable is also a statement, “Your Life is not your own, You were brought with a price” ….we have the wonderful opportunity of living for Jesus and fulfilling His calling.
In verse 37 “The righteous will answer Him, Lord when did we see You…..
Hungry and feed You??
Thirsty and give You something to drink??
A stranger and invite You in??
Lord when did we see You??”
Jesus, “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!”
Someone asked me, “Pastor Nigel, What’s the point – it’s only a drop in a bucket?”
My reply was, “But it is a drop in the bucket – and as I know from my dripping bathroom tap (now fixed) drips do fill buckets! and over flow then into bathroom cabinets.”
This Sunday, 13th November, is one of the personal favourites of the year for me – Shoe Box and Remembrance Service. 10.30 of you’d like to join us too. The theme is “What is in the Box?”
Greater Love has no one than this, then that they lay their life down for their friends…..
The next time an opportunity opens up to serve someone…. do it….. and as we move on from the Jesus will say “You did (it) for Me.”
With every good wish