Already But Not Yet – The Day of the LORD
Sheep and Goats
Matthew 25:31 – 46
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The text for this coming Sunday is the 3rd story in a row Jesus told after teaching about the coming of the ‘Son of Man,’ to describe what it will be like. The emphasis of all three (Ten Virgins, Bags of Gold, Sheep and the Goats) is a WORD to be watchful, ready, and prepared for his return.
In the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matthew 25:31-46), Jesus describes the separating of sheep and goats on the criteria of evidence of ‘sheep-like or goat-like’ behavior. It’s interesting that the sheep and the goats both are surprised at Jesus’ words of blessing and warning based on their behavior. The surprise on the part of the sheep is beautiful. The surprise on the part of the goats is tragic.
I also found it worthy of note that in our ‘woke’ society of today, where we accentuate differences between one another on just about anything and everything, Jesus doesn’t separate sheep and goats based on skin color, type of fur, whether one has horns or not, ethnicity, political affiliation (you name it) – separation is based solely on behavior and character. Instead, Jesus separates sheep from goats based on whether or not they did these things (fed hungry, quenched thirst, clothed naked, visited sick or in prison) to the least one of these brothers and sisters of His. The separation is based on behavior and character – evidence of belonging or not belonging to Jesus.
Matthew and his use of ‘least’ and ‘brothers and sisters’ throughout his book should give us the right direction. If Jesus means to emphasize the behavior and character toward brothers and sisters of faith, how might that understanding give interpretation to the text? I found this insight to be enlightening (like lightning).
‘See’ you Sunday,