In the parable of the sheep and the goats, Matthew 25:31-46, our Lord Jesus Christ was teaching us about our call to care. The point of this parable is simple and clear: God will judge us based on our caring service in the face of human need. When we read this passage, we see three distinct lessons our Lord Jesus Christ was trying to teach us. The Lord has called us to a caring and loving service, He will judge our service, and He will also bless our caring and loving service.
The Lord has shown us His love by providing and continuing to provide all we need daily. Even when we should have been condemned, he gave His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins. Our God is the God of love, and He expects us, His children, to also show love. We are expected to live as His children and act out our faith in Him. While we act out our faith in our worship and our praises of Him, we must also act out our faith by giving, sacrificing, and offering ourselves to others. His words say “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” – Matthew 25:40. Just as He is a God of giving and sacrifice, so too, we are to give, sacrifice and serve others.
The Bible tells us in the parable of the sheep and goats that the Lord will judge our service. If you do all the good you can, for as long as you can, you will end up in His right hand. We have a responsibility to be personally involved in our giving, not only in Church but also to the needy. What we are able to do and fail to do will definitely be judged by the Lord. There was this story about a boy from the Ghetto who had no shoes. The boy was being teased by someone who said, “If God loves you, why doesn’t He take care of you? Why doesn’t God tell someone to bring you shoes and a warm coat and better food?” The young boy thought for a moment, and then with tears starting in his eyes, said, “I guess He does tell somebody, but somebody forgets.” Are you that person that forgets to help those who are in need? He will ask of you what you did with all the resources at your disposal. Are you that person that ignores everyone you meet along your way?
Another story was told a long time ago, about a King who organized a great race within his kingdom. All the young men of the kingdom participated. A bag of gold was to be given to the winner, and the finish line was within the courtyard of the King’s palace. The race was run, and the runners were surprised to find in the middle of the road leading to the King’s palace a great pile of rocks and stones. Many of them managed to scramble over it or to run around it to eventually get to the King’s courtyard. Finally, all the runners had crossed the finish line except one. But still the king did not call the race off. After a while one lone runner came through the gate. He lifted a bleeding hand and said, “O King, I am sorry that I am so late. But you see, I found in the road a pile of rocks and stones, and it took me a while, and I even wounded myself, in removing them.” Then he lifted the other hand, and in it was a bag. He said, “But, Great King, I found beneath the pile of rocks this bag of gold.” The king said, “My son, you have won the race, for that one runs best who makes the way safer for those who follow.” In our journey of life, we will come across physical obstacles, we will come across piles of rocks and rubbles, and we will also find along our ways folks who need our help. We cannot afford to ignore them because God placed them along our path so they can lead us to our destiny. Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” Whatever we do, let us care enough to do good to those who need it around us.
This parable of the sheep and goats reminds us that those who fulfill their call to care will be separated from those who ignore their call at the end of time. The Word of God says, the King will say to those on the right side, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world” (verse 34). This is an indication that God will indeed bless their caring service. Brothers and sisters let us live our lives with an attitude that every act of kindness, caring, or love that we perform is a direct service to the Lord, and that no such acts of kindness will go unrewarded. Here and now in this fellowship of God’s beloved children, let us rise like a people marching to battle and declare a war of caring and kindness on each other. Then we will be ready to take it further and go seek the helpless, the confused, torn, and the lost, to help them find their way home.
June 6, 2021 – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya