31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the 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 foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[f] you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”Matthew 5:31-46
There are a few places in the scriptures, that while reading, really put the fear of God in us. These passages are hard to read, challenge our perspective, and cause us to ponder our way if we let them. This is one of those passages. This passage is set within the last week of Jesus life. Jesus is at the Mount of Olives speaking to His disciples. Much of the surrounding passages are within the context of Jesus speaking about the last days. It is also helpful to know that in this particular section, these verses, are 1 of 3 parables that He speaks about.
Now, without getting into all the end time prophecy stuff, lets just touch on a thing or two in this parable passage that stand out to me. We can see that Jesus is talking about a King who will be seperating people into two catagories:
Sheep and Goats!
We also can see the qualification of each catagory is love or lack of it.
Jesus says, And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ and later He says, “as you did not do it.”
It is clear – we can not love God and hate people! And loving God will always equate with loving people. This is where sheep and goats come in.
Sheep are docile in nature. They follow their shepherd. They listen to his voice. They stay together. They enjoy fellowship with other sheep. They are alert. They watch and listen. They dont like the darkness. They flee from enemies. They will stay away from shadowy places and seek out the light.
Goats on the other hand are agressive. They are reactive and tend to face their attackers when threatened. They are known for their stubbornness and they often misbehave. They often eat things that they shouldn’t. And they are known for their head butting ways and are often found fighting for their space and rank among the herd.
Father, I want to love like you love. Sometimes I find it hard to love difficult people but Lord, I can love them, by Your Spirit. Give me more of You, so that I am able to love well. Forgive me for being stubborn and agressive, often misbehaving to get attention. Helo to rememeber when I’ve forgotten to whom I belong. Forgive me for when I think I need to fix my status among the people and end up head butting my brothers and sisters in Christ. I declare that I trust my Shepherd and I will follow Him. In Jesus Name, Amen.
All is grace,