|Goat or Sheep|
Mat: 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
Mat 25: 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
In a Western world where many have an association with Christianity, Matthew 25 contains three parables of the same story about those who identify themselves as of faith, religious and spiritual but at the end finding themselves rejected when Jesus comes back.
At this present age, the Goat and the Sheep are actually intertwined and could not be easily separated eg some preachers preach the Gospel good news and extended mightly the kingdom of God yet have lamb chops every day. They stole tens of millions from the sheep for their own glory and fame, yet few in the body of Christ would criticse them.
In our post-modern and progressive faith where some have identified themselves as spiritual rather than church going, we are never neutral. We live both in a physical and spiritual reality, a spiritual opposing binary even though we may deny the reality of God and the devil. The sheep belongs to Jesus, the goat to the devil even though the goats may not realised it!
It is difficult to separate the Goat and the sheep because some are both at the same time! For example, in Love Singapore, where they came against Gays in a self righteous and legalistic religious aggenda, they acted like goats. They were worshipping the god of this world, the god of religious good works, rather Jesus Christ.
At the end, it was the ministry towards Jesus, how we ministered Jesus to the others that matters. How did the anti-gay crusade proclaimed Christ, feed the quench the thirst of Jesus Christ.
Jesus said much about homosexuality, and He said that in the context of marriage of the failure by the religious people of faith who were very strict on the law, but committed adultery and divorce. They were hypocrites giving themselves legal means for divorce hence violating the spirit of the Law.
Jesus added on the sidelines that the only group unlikely to fall into temptation in the opposite sex were gays or born eunuchs from their mothers womb. ie they had same sex orientation. Jesus condemned the lifestyle of the religious law minded hypocrite who is only moral on the outside.
When we march against gays, even in the guise of pro-family, we are like sheep dressing up in goat's skin. The spirit of religion, of self effort, of obedience to religious law to reach God comes into our hearts. The sheep grace on Jesus, the Lamb of God. The Goats look to salvation from within, their obedience to the Love commandments which was never going to be enough.
The sheep belongs to Jesus, and the Goat belongs to Satan both residing in the church or in the realm of faith. Indeed some secret groups literally worship the god identified by the goat with horns.
The parable about the Goat and the sheep could be on the surface about Jesus love commandments to take care of the poor, the sick, and be a listening friend to the other. But a closer look shows a sense of humour on Jesus part.
Jesus favored the sheep who could do no wrong in helping the outcasts whilst the Goat was condemed for not doing enough. In reality, the Goat may have done many more good works. Jesus would not criticised those who belong to Him. They were highly favored and greatly blessed.
Matt 25:1-13 starts of with the 10 virgins, 5 of which missed the boat because although they took out their lamps did not prepare oil in them because they though that it never be used. They were waiting for the bridegroom, for Jesus. The oil speaks of the Holy Spirit of God. Those who have the Spirit of God, believed and were prepared for the coming back of Jesus Christ. We live in a world where many Christians have gone wary and many not even believing that Jesus died and rose again, and is coming back. It will be too late when Jesus comes back.
Mat 25:14-28 then continued to Jesus the master giving the servants or Christians, many bags of Gold for them to plant the Kingdom of God, so that the harvest field may be reaped.
The servant who did nothing with the Gospel Good news message of God, did not extend the Kingdom of God with new believers. Surely the whole world can't be saved! but the King was not looking at the entire harvest, but on whether we believed that Jesus is coming back, that the Gospel is the good news of salvation that must be preached, and we accounted by what little talents we have to extend God's kingdom and not our kindoms.
When we reached Mat 25:29, regarding the sheep and the Goats, it was talking about the body of Christ, about Christians. There are those Sheep Christians who had Jesus in their mind, and heart, and preached Gospel Good news just as Jesus did, of Salvation in heaven as it is on earth. The healing, food given, were a picture of the ministry of Jesus on earth, and the coming kingdom of God.
The Goat Christians were criticised for not doing enough whilst the sheep christians were praised for what they did. This is seemingly unfair, but in the context of Mat 25, was about those who received the good news, but did not spread nor believe the Gospel of Salvation hence were totally unprepared for the coming back of Jesus. These were the Goats not that there were any worst than the sheep in doing good works, but they did not minister Jesus.
How do we minister Jesus? How do we feed others? we feed by physical food, and also by the communion bread and wine. We feed others, the body and bloood of Jesus signifying the body crucified for our sickness and diseases, and the death of Jesus washing all of us clean of our sins by the resurrection power.
We can't keep and hide the bread and wine to ourselves like the servant given one bag of Gold. We are also not to be unbelieving of Jesus physical death and resurrection, leading us not mindful of the return to Jesus to usher in a new kingdom of God where He is the head. We will end up like Goat Christians thinking that we are part of the body of Christ, doing good works, but missed ministering Christ and preparing for His return.
The Sheep were under the grace of God, hence every good work they did were accounted to them righteousness and justice.
The Goat were under the law, mindful of the hardness of the judgment of God like the servant given one bag of Gold, but not of God's love, mercy and grace. The Law, or the love commandments, religion itself did not suffice because it was all about Jesus, all about grace.
The Goats so keen on the religion, and abiding by God's law even loving others, did not extend the Kingdom of God and were themselves excluded when Jesus came back because they really didn't believe in the first place.
The Goats were doing the good works preparing the kindom of god on earth, whilst the sheep, was preparing for the coming Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ.
Are we Goats or sheep? Is not the works that we do, but whether Jesus is ministered. We minister Jesus when we proclaim the good news of Gospel Salvation, of the coming Kingdom of God, and physically feeding the poor and healing the sick and wounded as a reflection of the soon and coming Kingdom of God. It is not found in our anti-gay crusade.