Thursday, November 20, 2014

Simple Truth

Matthew 25: 31- 46  
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that 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 something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me 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 nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just 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.”


Many times, I perceive a sense of panic in people's eyes when this gospel is read. Everyone focuses on the part at the end, where the sheep and the goats are separated. No one wants to be a goat. 

Here's the part to worry about, though: have you been ignoring Jesus? 

I don't mean have you been the best at feeding, clothing, visiting, welcoming, and healing. I mean, have you been doing it at all? Recently? Today? 

Our ultimate salvation is contingent on Jesus' actions, but our sanctification... our growth into being the sheep of his pastures... our increased ability to recognize the Shepherd comes from listening to his voice and then seeking his face. 

The Shepherd will always be where he promises to be, which is- apparently- in the naked, the hungry, the isolated, the sick, the imprisoned, and the thirsty. 

So, don't panic. 

Either you're doing these things. Or you're not. 

It's as easy as separating a sheep from a goat for a king. 

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