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The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats Made Simple

(Matthew 25:31-46)

I hope that you will enjoy this simple application to today’s life and today’s world. We all know the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. It starts off: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, with all his holy angels with him, then he’ll sit on the throne of his glory. And the nations will be gathered before him, he’ll separate them one from another, as a shepherd divided his sheep from these goats.” (vv. 31-32)

We know that the holy angels are going to come and do the harvest. If you’ve read it in the Book of Revelation, you understand that there are two harvests. There’s the harvest of the wicked and the harvest of the righteous. So those two harvests go up before Jesus, who sits on the throne; and on Judgment Day, He separates the people who were doing what He taught from the people who were doing otherwise

Later on in the parable, He said of the righteous as “the King says to those on his right hand, ‘Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’” (v.34a)

Consider this: “the Kingdom of Heaven was prepared from the foundation of the world for us.” (v.34b)

And in verses 35 and 36, He continues “For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty, 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.”

Where he mentions stranger in this New King James version, in another Translation says “I was homeless”. I just want to be practical here. I want my series on the parables of Jesus Christ to be candid and written in day to day language that are easy to be understood and applied.

It says, “For I was hungry and you gave me food” (v.35a) Who were these hungry people? If you’re a church goer, who are these hungry people? Where would you come across them? These days, most people in the churches are not really hungry literally. But the “hungry” ones you need to minister to may be that wife and her children in your congregation who’s got a gambling husband. Or that lady seated beside you in the pew whose husband is an alcoholic. Or they may actually be the single mom or a struggling family in your congregation who doesn’t have the best of food, or has to contend with buying cheap food bearing no name brands at all. They might be the “hungry”.

And the thirsty, who are they? Not only are people thirsty for physical drink but a lot of people are thirsty for the spiritual water and they don’t have the resources. They can’t afford tapes and books or the Bible itself. People hunger and thirst for righteousness. These people may be the first ones to arrive during services and the last ones to leave. They may have listened to every sermon. Yet they are very hungry and thirsty for the things of God.

Why not buy them a DVD set of a good anointed teacher? Buying them books and resources is a way of feeding the thirsty and the hungry.

I know that for every homeless person on the street, you don’t have so much money to give for their drugs or their alcohol. But you can buy them a Coke or something to eat. That’s a way of feeding the hungry and the thirsty.

You know that in every city there are shelters for the homeless as well as food and soup kitchens. You can go down there and minister to the hungry and the thirsty, that’s a practical application of this verse.

“I was naked and you clothed me.” (v.36) Many homeless people need new clothes. You can take them shopping at an Op Shop or at a community welfare shop. You can get them some cheap clothes.

Again, this could be the widow with her struggling family whose husband is an alcoholic and a gambler. You can take her children shopping. That’s a practical way you can do these things.

There are many people in prison; there are those who are imprisoned emotionally, that you can spend time with, open your house up to and invite around. Lavish love on those people who are emotionally in prison. Inviting them around to your house or visiting them is something that you could do.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a prison; but if anyone that you know whose husband or someone else goes to prison, a visit is an encouraging thing to do.

I have been locked away in Psychiatric wards and it’s an exciting thing to have visitors when you’re in a bad place.

There are people who are sick in the hospital and there are people who are sick in their mind. There are people who are desperately lonely. Visiting with those people - the people who don’t have any friends, and the people who don’t get on with many people, the people who are lonely – is fulfilling this parable. These are the people who are in prison; these are the people who are sick. These are the ones you can visit with and spend time with. See, the Lord’s talking about having a heart like His.

Some people are difficult to love but you know that Jesus loves them. Jesus said He wants you to be like Him.

For many years I believed that Christians could go to hell and I used The Sheep and the Goats Parable as a reason why. But I don’t believe that anymore. I believe that it’s my job to encourage you to feed the homeless, to feed the lonely, to feed the hurting. I believe that some people hear the parables but don’t have a practical application for them in today’s world.

How could you feed the hungry and give things to the thirsty and take the homeless in and clothe the naked and look after the sick and visit the sick and visit those in prison? I’ve shared with you how to do all those things. If you ask your pastor, or ask elders in the church, “Who’s the family that’s struggling financially in our church?” You can buy them resources, you can buy them food, you can buy them clothes. All you have to do is think about it, all you have to do is pray, “Lord, lead me to the people that need help.”

It doesn’t cost much. Do you know that when you’ve got no money and someone buys you a coffee, it’s amazing? It’s an amazing thing to be given something when you can’t afford it.

Think of these poor people. The cheap clothes you buy for them, even those costing only twenty dollars won’t be forgotten by that single mother. The gambling husband of that single mother can’t sell the clothes you buy. You can clothe the children. You can bring around food. The gambling husband can’t sell the food you buy. And I’m not picking on husbands here. It’s normally the woman that picks up the lot. I know that there are gambling women and gambling mothers who cause trouble too. So just assume that I’m talking about both sexes here.

Come on, my friends. The Sheep and the Goats Parable shouldn’t be just another parable in your Bible. It shouldn’t be something that you just hear at church and say, “Gee, that was a good sermon,” and then go along and live life as you normally do. Jesus is saying, “If you’re gonna be like me, if you gonna be a true sheep, you gonna have to look like the Shepherd. You gonna act like the Shepherd who’d want you to go. You gonna go in the direction that the Shepherd leads you.” To be a true sheep, you got to be like your master. And our master is Jesus. He’s shown us a practical way and I hope that as I’ve shared in this teaching, I’ve opened up to you a practical way to fulfill that Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. I hope that you’ve got insight and understanding.

Go down to your soup kitchen and offer one night a week worth of your time. If you haven’t got money, offer your time. If you’ve got money, offer your time and your money. So many times it’s easy just to give money. There are a lot of lonely people that want your time. You don’t need to spend money. Come on, I encourage you. I’ve given you a few ideas. I’ve given you a practical application of this parable in today’s world. Go and multiply. Go and do the good works of the Saviour. He’ll be proud of you. I’ll be proud of you. Write a comment; tell me what you think.

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