The Sheep and the Goats
Matthew 25:31-46 - 31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34"Then 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. 35For 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, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Although Jesus speaks of physically feeding and giving drink, He is also speaking of emotionally feeding and giving drink. When one of your neighbors was going through emotionally difficult times, were you there to feed them the comfort and understanding that they needed? Were you there to give them a drop of compassion to drink? What about those in the churches you attend? Have you been there for them when they needed someone to talk to, someone to show them a drop of love, someone to feed them a bite of mercy and understanding, to just spend the time to listen to them? When someone you knew lost a loved one, were you there to comfort them? Did you invite them over for dinner? What about new church members or even first time visitors, have you invited them over to your home to welcome them into the church family and show them love? Have you reached out to those around you to show them love?
Have you ever helped to feed the homeless? This Thanksgiving and Christmas, instead of having a big dinner and celebration, how about going with some ministry to feed the homeless and bring them clothes. Have you ever gone with a prison ministry group to minister to those in prison? Have you visited acquaintances in nursing homes? When your neighbor or someone in your church was sick, did you bring them food or ask them if you could run errands for them? What about the elderly person down the street, have you ever asked them if you can do anything to help them, do grocery shopping for them, given them a ride somewhere, take or pick up clothes at the cleaners for them?
When someone was emotionally hurting, have you clothed them with a warm embrace? Have you warmed them with love? When someone was emotionally vulnerable, did you clothe them in prayer, did you comfort them?
You see, we can tell people about Jesus until we are blue in the face. But until they see Jesus in us, we are worthless.