The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats
Those who showed kindness to others are in fact showing kindness to Christ. They will receive great reward in the coming kingdom.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation 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 took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“Then he will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink; I was a stranger and you didn’t take me in; I was naked and you didn’t clothe me, sick and in prison and you didn’t take care of me.’
“Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)
Pastor John’s Notes:
The Christian life requires us to invest in others. This investment is born out of our love for others and can be as simple as a glass of water to someone who is thirsty or a visit to someone who is sick. The second great commandment is to love others even as we love ourselves, and it is not a commandment that is hard to fulfill. Yet this parable shows us how essential it is. It also reveals something wonderful about our Savior, that he is with us all and shares life with us. When we are hungry, he hungers with us. When we are sick or in prison, he is there with us. Our Savior is not distant nor remote, but close to us. In our acts of kindness toward others, we are honoring not only the human person we encounter but also Christ himself.
Open my mind to see how much you love your people. Teach me to love as you love. Do not let my religion be something that is merely about me, but show me how I can invest in the people around me.