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."
Matthew 25:31-46 (Bible Gateway NIV)
I must admit the first I had heard of the sheep and the goats was not while reading my bible, it was in a song called "Sheep go to Heaven" by Cake. The chorus lyrics are:
Sheep go to heaven
Goats go to hell
Sheep go to heaven
Goats… go to hell
I met a very interesting gentleman last night at a dinner I went to. His first words to me after introducing himself were; "Could you use some bread?"
A bit taken aback I quickly examined myself in my head. Did I look like I was needy? Was I staring at other people's food? Were my children wearing shabby clothes?
Not really waiting for my answer this man, I will call him Billy, said to my husband; "Are you going to be home tomorrow morning? I'll drop it off. What's your address?"
So Craig gave Billy our address and true to his word Billy knocked on our door this morning with an armload of bread for us.
I've been thinking a lot about the story of the sheep and the goats in the bible. In fact it is our family's theme for 2009 to be sheep.
Often times I am expecting needs to be revealed to me however. I wouldn't want to offend anyone by asking "personal" questions. Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? Do you you need clothes? Billy just goes out and finds people to share with. He has a lot of bread so he gives it away to folks. He doesn't worry about what they will say. He is out doing work in his Father's kingdom. Being a sheep.
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.