My recent encounters with our goat (this morning she broke into the rabbit feed again) has caused me to ponder scripture.
The Bible says a good deal about sheep and goats, but the words of Jesus have stood out as I’ve been praying.
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.
Matthew 25:32-33 NKJV
Jesus is talking about His return to earth and what will occur.
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:34-40 KJV
Those who are “sheep” are commended by the way they served others.
He doesn’t conclude there, but next turns to the “goats”.
Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Matthew 25:41-45 KJV
Talk about heavy.
These people are condemned by their lack of service.
Yet, we know it’s not by works which we are saved.
Jesus tells us that to be saved we simply need to believe in Him.
John 3:16 NKJV — “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
So, how is it that the “sheep” believe and yet it’s their works Jesus points to as the proof of their belief?
Because true faith is evident in the daily lives of those who believe.
What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:14-17 NKJV
Jesus, Himself referred to this.
Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV — “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”
Belief in Jesus Christ is a faith which changes our hearts and lives completely.
John 15:8 KJV — Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
I want to be a “sheep”, content with following my Master, bringing glory to God the Father through my daily obedience.
John 10:27 KJV — My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for using my sheep and goat to remind me of Your truths. You change my heart and through that my attitudes and actions. Lord, I thank You for saving me and making me Your sheep. I thank You for continuing to teach me through Your Word. Lord, please help me to listen intently for Your voice and walk faithfully in Your paths. Thank You for Your love and salvation. Amen.