31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All 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. 33 He 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. 35 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, 36 I 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? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “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.’
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. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I 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, ‘Truly I tell you, 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.”
Living a Goat’s Life
Recently, Jesus, I have put you off. I have put you down the list of priorities. Of course, I have excuses: My teaching job has been hectic because it is the end of the semester; I have been disorganised and tired because of staying up late each night; I lost the commentary that I start my devotions by reading. None of these things really matter, but the break in structure meant I was living the life of the goat. I didn’t see you as much. I didn’t notice you in the world around me. The good that I might have done was undone. The worst thing, though, was this sense that I was living life in discord. I was out of sorts because the quality of my most important relationship was diminished.
Living the life of the goat makes me more determined to live the life of the sheep. It is a matter of priority and connection. I need to keep you as the first thought in the day.
- What is the fate of the sheep and the goat in the parable?
- What was the difference in perspective between the sheep and the goats?
- How does this parable connect with the other two parables in the chapter?
- Would you classify yourself as more sheep or goat lately?
- How does one cultivate the life of the sheep?