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POSTED: September 27, 2010 9:30 a.m.
I am excited about the parables of Jesus. I have noticed multiple lessons in most parables Jesus used. The story of the sheep and the goats, as recorded in Matthew Ch. 25, is no exception. Jesus says there will be a day when all the nations will stand before Him and He will divide them into two groups. The group that pleased the Lord will be invited into the Lord’s kingdom and the group that displeased the Lord will be cast out and will endure everlasting punishment. Now, of course, that is an over simplification of a profound spiritual truth.
In addition to the judgment declaration, I believe this parable gives us a glimpse into the psyche of those who truly care about serving mankind. Jesus uses two similar animals to show that all people are alike in many ways. The sheep and the goats are both four-legged animals, they grow to be about the same size, and, like many things viewed from a distance, they can be confused. However, when one animal is close enough to be heard, felt or observed, they become very distinguishable. And so it is with people.  From a distance, one can become confused because people look alike and often sound alike — until we get close enough to see the real person.
Jesus was not fooled by imposters. He set the sheep people on His right and the goat people on His left. Then He said to the sheep “Come blessed of my father … I was hungry and you fed Me.” The sheep asked when did we feed you Lord?
This reminds us that people with a heart to serve mankind often do it without thinking they have done a great thing. They ring no bells and ask for no special attention. They just naturally serve.
Jesus turned His attention to the goat people and said, “I was hungry and you did not feed Me.” The goats, like the sheep, asked, “When, Lord, did we see you hungry?”
The second point is that good people often simply do not see the need. Jesus reminds us that when we neglect others who are in need, we neglect Him. Have you seen the need in Liberty County? When you stand before the judge, which side will you be directed to?
I commend the good people, the churches, the supportive services agencies, the city and county workers and other laborers who work every day to eradicate homelessness and poverty in our community. However, there is much work to be done. I want to ask our community to consider financially supporting the Liberty County Manna House, the Kirk Healing Center, the Liberty County Homeless Coalition or, perhaps, area residents will make donations to their churches.
For more information on donating to local charities, call me 368-9154.

Scott is pastor of Baconton Missionary Baptist church and vice president of the United Ministerial Alliance.

 

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