The Sheep and the Goats

“All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.”

Matthew 25:32

In the Bible, Matthew chapter 25, Jesus Christ tells a parable about the “sheep and the goats.” As you read this story, you understand that Jesus is differentiating between humanity’s positive and negative qualities and how judgment someday will occur. Sheep have positive qualities while goats have negative characteristics. As a person reads this parable, they would undoubtedly want to be associated with the qualities of sheep and not a goat!

Jesus describes the individuals with “sheep-like” qualities as those who took care of hungry, thirsty, needed clothes, had no home, and were sick and imprisoned. As Jesus came to earth in human form, he experienced humbling times when he was hungry, thirsty, had no home, had his clothes stripped from him, and was imprisoned. During this humbling and demeaning time, he was mocked and scorned. He was and nailed to a cross and crucified despite not being charged with any real crimes or wrongdoing. Those who treated Jesus Christ this way would undoubtedly be classified as “goats.”

As we read this parable, a quick question comes to mind: “hmm, am I a sheep or a goat?” As you examine your life in great detail, I suppose you would look for the presence of sheep or goat-like qualities. In this parable, Jesus describes the qualities of the sheep as being ones that were selfless and took care of the needs of others and perhaps made sacrifices in doing so. The Bible is an essential instruction manual for us to follow, leading us to take care of others (sheep-like qualities). Several Bible verses come to mind when I read this parable: “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also; therefore, by their fruits you will know them; as water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart” (Matthew 6:21/NIV; Matthew 7:20/NKJV; Proverbs 27:19/NIV).

God inspires me to write the articles that I do relate to real-life events around me! I know a group of men I attend church with at Grace Point Fellowship (Kingsport, TN) who demonstrate these positive Biblical qualities and those that are “sheep-like.” Thank you, Grace Point Fellowship and the gentlemen I mentioned, for the assistance you recently provided to an elderly couple in a critical time of need! I’m sure Jesus will say to you someday: “what you did for these elderly souls, you did unto me; well-done thy good and faithful servants!” Gentlemen, you are great role models and provide much inspiration for me! Thank you for your acts of kindness!  

Many blessings to you!

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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