Google+ 12/12/13 Who Knew That My Shepherd Makes Tree Calls?

Matthew 25:33-35

 

He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right,

‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father,

Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world.

For I was hungry, and you fed me.

I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.

I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.' "

 

In part ten of our twelve-part devotion series entitled, "Be Prepared!" Matthew shares some very important words with the Jewish community and to all believers.  This passage of Scripture is often ignored because it is difficult to deal with the statement that Jesus makes to all of us.  Based on our behavior, Jesus will separate all of us into two groups.  By the way, there are only two groups!  Jesus uses an analogy that all people in Biblical times would have understood.  Sheep are docile animals and really need a shepherd.  Because they are not the brightest animals, they need to be led in the correct direction so they don't get terminally lost.  Goats are hostile animals that can lash out in a moment's notice.  They are also lost but don't want or desire a shepherd.  They will literally eat anything put in front of them and selfishly consume it for their own pleasure.  That includes things that we would label as "uneatable" like tin cans!!!  Notice that the Father has prepared the Kingdom for the sheep and not the goats.  Is that really true?  Doesn't God love everyone?  It is really true and God does love everyone.  God sent His Son Jesus Christ to be a shepherd to all those of us that choose to be sheep.  If we choose to be goats, we don't need a shepherd and we won't inherit the Kingdom that belongs to the sheep.   That is our choice and we are free to make it.  As a pastor, I am continually amazed at the lack of preparation that most people do for anything.  Those that do prepare are often labeled as fanatics and ridiculed for their desire to do the best for God they can.  It makes for a lonely life as we serve Christ.  That is why Jesus describes what the "sheep" have done for Him.   Being a sheep means to feed, clothe, and house others in the name of Jesus.  Later in the book of Matthew, immediately following today's Scripture, the sheep ask Jesus what He means as they don't ever remember giving Him a drink, food, or housing.  He explains that whenever  we do any of these things for the least of them, we have done them directly to Jesus.  If we look around and feel very alone, there is a good chance that we are sheep.  Keep listening to the shepherd and follow his direction.  I often feel like Horton the elephant that lives in a tree!  Horton feels that ultimately he is alone in the universe.  I know the feeling.  Unlike Horton, I get to look up, pray, and shout songs of praise.  "Who Knew That My Shepherd Makes Tree Calls?"