Matthew 25:31-46 - The Parable Of The Sheep And Goats The Final Judgment.

Matthew 25:34-36, 40 (NIV)  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.  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, 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.. I tell 
you the truth, whatever you did for one of the 
least of these brothers of mine, you did for 

Mat 25:34-36, 40 (CWB) Then as Judge and 
King He will say to those on His right, `You are 
my Father's children because you are so much 
like Him.  Come!  Now is the time for you to be 
given a permanent home in His kingdom which He has 
been looking forward to giving you for quite 
sometime.  Everyone could see the change that took 
place in your life when you decided to become one 
of God's children, because you cared about 
others as you would care about me.  When others 
were thirsty, you gave them water.  When they 
were hungry, you gave them food, and when they 
were lost and homeless, you took them in.  When 
they had nothing suitable to wear, you gave them 
clothes.  When they were sick, you visited them and 
comforted them, and when they were put in jail, you 
didn't forget them.'. `I know you didn't realize 
this because a transformation had taken place in 
your life and kindness and compassion became a 
permanent part of your nature.  What you so caringly 
did even to those who are thought the least of, 
you did for me.' 


   We've seen that Scripture often compares 
the people of God to sheep. But some of those 
same Scripture passages go on to compare people 
who aren't following God to goats - and the 
comparison isn't flattering. How are goats different 
from sheep? 
   While sheep graze primarily on grass, 
goats will eat anything they can find: clothes off 
a line, dog food (a favorite), toys, grass, 
vegetables, cardboard, and even some toxic plants. 
   Goats are extremely curious and 
intelligent. They're easily trained, but they're also 
known for escaping pens. They test fences and will 
climb on or push through barriers. 
   Rather than staying together like sheep, 
goats spread out. They seldom feed side by side. 
Goats fight, butt, make a lot of noise, have turf 
wars, and play favorites with their kids or 
abandon them. 
   It's not hard to recognize human 
behaviors in these characteristics. We all know people 
who will "eat" anything, who are always looking 
for new ideas and new relationships. They have 
an off-with-the-old-and-on-to-the-new way of 
thinking, but some of those new ideas are poison to 
the soul. These "goats" may look full and rich, 
but they are really only harming themselves, 
heading toward life without God. 
   Testing barriers? Some people feel 
trapped by rules meant to protect them from harm. 
They rebel and push away any restraint in order 
to experiment with drugs, alcohol, sex, crime, 
or whatever appeals at the moment. Sometimes 
they suffer the consequences. Often they cause 
those around them to suffer as well. 
   What about fighting with each other 
instead of functioning as a community? I could name 
a few politicians who fit that description. A 
few church leaders as well. That kind of 
conflict is rooted in selfishness and a "me first" 
attitude that keeps people from remembering that 
we're created to be part of a flock. 
   We've already seen that sheep have more 
than their share of defects. But even with all 
their struggles - their wandering, their timidity, 
their tendency to follow the crowd - they have one 
characteristic we need to embrace wholeheartedly: they 
listen to their shepherd.  
   I'd rather be a sheep grazing in the 
pastures of the Lord than be a goat nibbling the 
chaff Satan feeds his flock. How about you? 
   Why are we so prone to desiring new 
things, testing barriers, and fighting for our own 
territory? How can we combat those tendencies? 
   Identify one way you push the boundaries, 
compete with others, or continually look for new 
ideas. Ask God to help you respond like a sheep 
rather than like a goat. Reflect on the idea of 
following the Good Shepherd. 
   Connect With God
   Good Shepherd, help me to remember that 
You have my well-being in mind. The boundaries 
You set are not to frustrate me but to keep me 
safe. Keep me from following my own way. Teach me 
instead to follow You like a sheep, always listening 
to Your voice and knowing that's how I will 
find my way to You. [Earth Psalms by Francine 


   There are many reasons to help people in 
   "Benevolence is good for the world." 
   "We all float on the same ocean. When the 
tide rises, it benefits everyone."  
   "To deliver someone from poverty is to 
unleash that person's potential as a researcher, 
educator, or doctor."  
   "As we reduce poverty and disease, we 
reduce war and atrocities. Healthy, happy people 
don't hurt each other."  
   Compassion has a dozen advocates.
   But for the Christian, none is higher 
than this: when we love those in need, we are 
loving Jesus. It is a mystery beyond science, a 
truth beyond statistics. But it is a message that 
Jesus made crystal clear: when we love them, we 
love him. 
   This is the theme of his final sermon. 
The message he saved until last. He must want 
this point imprinted on our conscience. He 
depicted the final judgment scene. The last day, the 
great Day of Judgment. On that day Jesus will 
issue an irresistible command. All will come. From 
sunken ships and forgotten cemeteries, they will 
come. From royal tombs and grassy battlefields, 
they will come. From Abel, the first to die, to 
the person being buried at the moment Jesus 
calls, every human in history will be present. 
   All the angels will be present. The whole 
heavenly universe will witness the event. A 
staggering denouement. Jesus at some point will 
"separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides 
his sheep from the goats" (Matt. 25:32). 
Shepherds do this. They walk among the flock and, one 
by one, with the use of a staff direct goats in 
one direction and sheep in the other. Graphic, 
this thought of the Good Shepherd stepping 
through the flock of humanity. You. Me. Our parents 
and kids. "Max, go this way." "Ronaldo, over 
there." "Maria, this side." 
   How can one envision this moment without 
the sudden appearance of this urgent question: 
What determines his choice? How does Jesus 
separate the people? 
   Jesus gives the answer. Those on the 
right, the sheep, will be those who fed him when he 
was hungry, brought him water when he was 
thirsty, gave him lodging when he was lonely, 
clothing when he was naked, and comfort when he was 
sick or imprisoned. The sign of the saved is 
their concern for those in need. Compassion does 
not save them"or us. Salvation is the work of 
Christ. Compassion is the consequence of salvation. 
   The sheep will react with a sincere 
question: when? When did we feed, visit, clothe, or 
comfort you (vv. 34-39)? 
   Jesus will recount, one by one, all the 
acts of kindness. Every deed done to improve the 
lot of another person. Even the small ones. In 
fact, they all seem small. Giving water. Offering 
food. Sharing clothing. The works of mercy are 
simple deeds. And yet, in these simple deeds we 
serve Jesus. Astounding this truth: we serve 
Christ by serving needy people. 
   Some of them live in your neighborhood; 
others live in jungles you can't find and have 
names you can't pronounce. Some of them play in 
cardboard slums or sell sex on a busy street. Some of 
them walk three hours for water or wait all day 
for a shot of penicillin. Some of them brought 
their woes on themselves, and others inherited the 
mess from their parents. 
   None of us can help everyone. But all of 
us can help someone. And when we help them, we 
serve Jesus. Who would want to miss a chance to do 
   O Lord, where did I see you yesterday... 
and didn't recognize you? Where will I encounter 
you today... and fail to identify you properly? 
O my Father, give me eyes to see, a heart to 
respond, and hands and feet to serve you wherever you 
encounter me! Transform me, Lord, by your Spirit into 
a servant of Christ, who delights to meet the 
needs of those around me. Make me a billboard of 
your grace, a living advertisement for the riches 
of your compassion. I long to hear you say to 
me one day, "Well done, good and faithful 
servant." And I pray that today I would be that 
faithful servant who does well at doing good. In 
Jesus' name I pray, amen. [Max Lucado Daily 
Devotional at maxlucado.com] 


   Piper Hayward didn't go to Africa 
thinking much about clean drinking water. Her family 
had helped start an organization to help 
orphans, and the Ohio tween traveled to Kenya to do 
whatever she could. She even brought a trunk full of 
school supplies. But once Piper got to the Maasai 
village, she was surprised to find girls about her 
age who were responsible for providing water. 
They had no time for school, because water was 
scarce and took a long time to carry. Piper enjoyed 
playing with the orphans, performing skits, and 
comforting children during medical exams. But when she 
returned home, she couldn't get the "water girls" out 
of her mind. She set up a coin drive in her 
school. Soon Piper's friends and family members 
began collecting coins in Illinois, Texas, and 
other states. In less than a year, enough money 
had been raised to drill a 600-foot well and 
install a pump and generator. Now the village would 
enjoy clean water and everybody could have a 
chance to go to school. 
   Clean water. Most of us don't think much 
about it. We crank the faucet and out it pours. 
But in many parts of the world, clean water 
isn't a reality. According to the World Health 
Organization (WHO), nearly 3.5 million people die each 
year from water-related diseases. A 2010 study by 
WHO and UNICEF discovered that 780 million 
people around the world don't have access to clean 
water. That's about one out of every nine people on 
the planet or more than twice the population of 
the United States and Canada combined! 
   When Piper saw a need, she worked to fix 
it. Anytime you reach out to help the less 
fortunate, you honor God and further his kingdom. In 
Matthew 25 Jesus tells a parable in which the king 
commends his true followers for helping the hungry, 
sick, and imprisoned, saying, "Whatever you did 
for one of the least of these brothers and 
sisters of mine, you did for me." As Christian's, we 
know helping others is part of our role on earth. 
Can you think of some people who need help? You 
may not be providing water. But you can help the 
homeless in your area, volunteer in the church 
nursery, or use your allowance to sponsor a child in 
another country. Now don't just think about what you 
can do - go out and do it. [Case For Christ For 
Kids by Les Strobel] 


   Jesus set aside the privileges of 
deity and took on the status of a slave, became 
human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was 
an incredibly humbling process. He didnt 
claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a 
selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, 
obedient death"and the worst kind of death at that: 
a crucifixion (Phil. 2:7"8 MSG). 
   Lets follow his example. Lets 
put on the apron of humility, to serve one 
another (1 Pet. 5:5 TEV). Jesus entered the world to 
serve. We can enter our jobs, our homes, our 
churches. Servanthood requires no unique skill or 
seminary degree. Regardless of your strengths, 
training, or church tenure, you can  
   Love the overlooked. Jesus sits in your 
classroom, wearing the thick glasses, outdated 
clothing, and a sad face. Youve seen him. Hes 
   Jesus works in your office. Pregnant 
again, she shows up to work late and tired. No one 
knows the father. According to water-cooler 
rumors, even she doesnt know the father. Youve 
seen her. Shes Jesus. 
   When you talk to the lonely student, 
befriend the weary mom, you love Jesus. He dresses in 
the garb of the overlooked and ignored. 
Whenever you did one of these things to someone 
overlooked or ignored, that was me - you did it to 
me (Matt. 25:40 MSG). 
   You can do that. Even if your sweet spot 
has nothing to do with encouraging others, the 
cure for the common life involves loving the 
overlooked. You can also  
   Wave a white flag. We fight so much. 
Where do you think all these appalling wars and 
quarrels come from? asks the brother of Jesus. 
Do you think they just happen? Think again. 
They come about because you want your own way, 
and fight for it deep inside yourselves 
(James 4:1 MSG). Serve someone by swallowing your 
pride. One more aspect of servanthood.. 
   Every day do something you dont want 
to do. Pick up someone elses trash. 
Surrender your parking place. Call the long-winded 
relative. Carry the cooler. Doesnt have to be a big 
thing. Helen Keller once told the Tennessee 
legislature that when she was young, she had longed to 
do great things and could not, so she decided 
to do small things in a great way. Dont be 
too big to do something small. Throw 
yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that 
nothing you do for him is a waste of time or 
effort (1 Cor. 15:58 MSG). 
   A good action not only brings good 
fortune, it brings Gods attention. He notices the 
actions of servants. He sent his Son to be one. 
   When you and I crest Mount Zion and hear 
the applause of saints, well realize this: 
hands pushed us up the mountain too. The pierced 
hands of Jesus Christ, the greatest servant who 
ever lived. [Max Lucado Daily Devotional at 


   Who really cared? His was a routine 
admission to busy Bellevue Hospital. A charity case, 
one among hundreds. A drunken bum from the 
Bowery with a slashed throat. The Bowery  last 
stop before the morgue. 
   The derelict's name was misspelled on the 
hospital form, but then what good is a name when the 
guy's a bum? The age was also incorrect. He was 
thirty-eight, not thirty-nine, and looked twice that. 
Somebody might have remarked, "What a shame for one 
so young," but no one did. Because no one 
   His health was gone and he was starving. 
He had been found lying in a heap, bleeding 
from a deep gash in his throat. A doctor used 
black sewing thread to suture the wound. Then the 
man was dumped in a paddy wagon and dropped off 
at Bellevue Hospital, where he languished and 
died. But nobody really cared. 
   A friend seeking him was directed to the 
local morgue. There, among dozens of other 
nameless corpses, he was identified. When they 
scraped together his belongings, they found a 
ragged, dirty coat with thirty-eight cents in one 
pocket and a scrap of paper in the other. All his 
earthly goods. Enough coins for another night in the 
Bowery and five words, "Dear friends and gentle 
hearts." Almost like the words of a song, someone may 
have thought. 
   Which would have been correct, for once 
upon a time that man had written the songs that 
literally made the whole world sing. Songs like 
"Camptown Races," "Oh! Susanna," "Beautiful Dreamer," 
"I Dream of Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair," 
"Old Folks at Home," "My Old Kentucky Home," and 
two hundred more that have become deeply rooted 
in our rich American heritage. 
   Thanks to Stephen Collins Foster.
   Today, some of these forgotten souls are 
in prison. Some in hospitals. Some in nursing 
homes. And some silently slip into church on Sunday 
morning, confused and afraid. 
   Do you care? Enough "to show hospitality 
to strangers," as Hebrews 13:2 puts it? It also 
says that in doing so, we occasionally "entertain 
angels without knowing it." 
   Angels who don't look anything like 
angels. Some might even look like bums from the 
Bowery, but they may have a song dying in their 
hearts because nobody knows and nobody cares. 
   Deep within many a forgotten life is a 
scrap of hope, a lonely melody trying hard to 
return. [Chuck Swindoll www.insight.org.] 





If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


1st of 28: Divine Dining: