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Matthew 25 marks the final section of Christ’s Olivet Discourse. The disciples had asked some questions about end times, and Jesus answers in Matthew 24-25. This last section, in chapter 25, is the parable of the sheep and goats.

In this parable the Bible clearly tells us that there is going to be a separation that will take place when the son of man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him (vs 31).

Matthew 25: 32-33 reveals that all the nations will be gathered before Christ 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’,” Matthew 25: 34-36.

In these verses the righteous, represented by the sheep, are invited to inherit the kingdom that has been prepared for them. The reason being the way they treated Christ during their life. They fed Him, gave Him food, clothed Him and visited Him in prison. Although the righteous are glad to have received such a wonderful inheritance, they are nevertheless confused. They have never seen Jesus before, and wonder how they could have done all these things for Him. So they ask what He means (Matthew 25:37-39).

Jesus 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 25:40. The opposite is true of the unrighteous who are represented by the goats in the parable. Christ will say to the unrighteous; “Depart from me; you’re 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,” Matthew 25:41-43.

The people classified as goats did exactly the opposite of everything that the sheep did. They will also ask Christ, “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,” Matthew 25:44-45.

Christ recognises the spirit of unselfish service that ministers to any one in distress, even when the service is performed by one who is not a follower of Christ. Even among the heathen are those who have cherished the spirit of kindness; before the words of life had fallen upon their ears, they have ministered to those who were in need.

These people worship God ignorantly, these people will not perish. God, in his mercy, will judge them with the light they had received. 
Dear beloved, let us seize every opportunity to contribute to the happiness of those around us. Words of kindness, looks of sympathy, expressions of appreciation would be as a cup of cold water to a thirsty soul. 

Bopoto Gwinyai
(7663 8191)

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