Home » Faith » Sheep, Goats, and Grace

Sheep, Goats, and Grace

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:31-40

This passage has had a huge impact on my life. Jesus says, “You did it to Me.” The first time I truly thought about that, I realized that when I feed someone who is hungry, I have fed Jesus. That’s awesome! When you feed somebody who’s hungry, or clothe somebody in need, or visit somebody in prison, or do anything to help the hurting, the dying, or anyone in pain, you take care of Jesus. He says, “You have done that to Me, because they are a part of Me. Whether they are living for Me or not, they’re still a part of Me. I created them.”

God created man and woman in His own image. When He did that it was as if He said, ‘I’ve created you with me in you.’

You have God’s spirit inside of you. When you were in your mother’s womb, God said, ‘I created you, in my own image. You are a part of me. Though you may sin, and though you may fail, you will be fulfilled in me.’

If some part of you, something that you love, is under attack, you feel like you’re being attacked. Don’t you? If you attacked one of my sons, I would feel like you attacked me. If you attacked my wife, I would feel attacked. In the same way, if you show my family love and care, then I feel like you love me.

We’re creations of the Almighty God and I think He feels the same way. We are part of His family. So when He sees someone that is hungry, He’s hungry. That’s what He means when He says, “If you do this for the least of these, then you’ve done this for Me.” That’s why He loves the righteous, set at His right hand.

What about those at His left hand? Here’s what He says to them:

‘Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” Matthew 25:41-46

I can hear you now. “But Jeremy,” you say. “You always talk about grace. You always talk about the free and unmerited favor of God. This sounds a lot like a performance evaluation to me. Is there a contradiction here?”

That’s a great question, and I aim to answer it in my next few blogs. See you Thursday.

One thought on “Sheep, Goats, and Grace

  1. Hi Jeremy, I had always been a huge fan of your pitching, but when I came across everything you’ve written thus far on your website – well, I became an even bigger fan. I’m currently writing a long(ish) piece about my love for the game of baseball, and as you play/you’ve played a predominant role in that whole ‘kerfuffle’ – is there any chance I could speak to you directly to ask you you several baseball/life-related questions?

    Thanks,
    Jasper (jasperspanjaart@gmail.com)

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