Such apparent similarities between sheep and goats. In one field, not always easy to tell apart. Yet the differences are there, and are significant.
Matthew 25:31-46 (CEV)
The Final Judgment
31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. 32 The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats.
33 He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the king will say to those on his right, “My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created.35 When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, 36 and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me.”
37 Then the ones who pleased the Lord will ask, “When did we give you something to eat or drink? 38 When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear39 or visit you while you were sick or in jail?”
40 The king will answer, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.”
41 Then the king will say to those on his left, “Get away from me! You are under God’s curse. Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! 42 I was hungry, but you did not give me anything to eat, and I was thirsty, but you did not give me anything to drink.43 I was a stranger, but you did not welcome me, and I was naked, but you did not give me any clothes to wear. I was sick and in jail, but you did not take care of me.”
44 Then the people will ask, “Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail?”
45 The king will say to them, “Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me.”
46 Then Jesus said, “Those people will be punished forever. But the ones who pleased God will have eternal life.”
It wasn’t me,
I didn’t do anything much,
just what anyone would do,
just caring for my neighbour,
Making sure they were
and knew they were loved.
I don’t deserve any praise
or special treatment.
It wasn’t me.
I didn’t do anything wrong.
I have my own concerns
to worry about and care for.
I didn’t even see you Lord,
you know I would have stopped if I did.
And there are so many needs,
how would I know where to start?
What do do
How to make a difference?
There are so many others with more time and resources.
It isn’t my responsibility.
(And besides which,
I’m busy doing “church work”)
And Jesus said,
Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me
And Jesus said,
Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me
forgive me when I get caught up
and my own issues;
when I miss the need all around me,
or feel overwhelmed
in the face of it.
to see you
in the face of every person.
May that inform
how I respond
Make me a sheep,
not a goat