Summary: The last of three parables in Matthew following Jesus’ teaching on end times. Perhaps what is most important is to realize that what we don’t do could be more important than what we do as followers of Jesus.
The Parables of Jesus
Goats and Sheep
September 13, 2009
This week we are going to look at the last parable of three that deals with the end times or judgment when Jesus comes again. The first two are the parables of the ten virgins and the talents. This week is the parable of the goats and the sheep. Next week by the way, we will finish up the parables of Jesus by going back to the parables of the mustard seed and yeast.
This parable reminds us that following Jesus is not about us. It is not about me, what I want, what I need, or what is convenient. It reminds us that when the final day of accounting comes, while we will be asked about us and our lives, it will be about how we followed Jesus by serving others. Turn to Matthew 25:31.
Have you ever seen those frequent flyer programs that the airlines have? Fly with us and you will earn points that can get free flights (of course with the restrictions on when you can use those points and on what flights, the only way to redeem them is on a one way flight to Butte, Montana between February 30 and February 31 but that is a whole other issue). And the way customer service is with airlines, it is almost like a competition to see who can treat you the worst. “Fly with us and will treat you like you’ve never been treated before. And while you wait on a crowded plane for six hours to take off with a broken toilet, we’ll give you 30 bonus points that you can use to purchase our own magazine that gives you hours of pointless reading and more useless information than the Internet,”
But I thought, “What if…” What if we created a Frequent Attender program here at KCG? “Earn points when you come and worship. Earn a thousand points and become an elite member and you will get great benefits. Like free upgrades to aisle seating. A personalized pillow with a complimentary chocolate every time you worship. At 2000 points, you become a platinum member where you will be given a personalized coffee mug and your very own Snuggie! Act now because right now after signing up, if you attend four Sundays in a row, you will get a free half hour counseling session with Pastor Mark. That’s right, free counseling! See our website for details and limitations on this fabulous offer.”
But it really isn’t about us. It isn’t about us at all. Let’s read.
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. (Once again we must remember that this parable is in the context of the final accounting or judgment. Without this idea that we’ve looked at in other sermons—go online to see and hear them—this passage loses quite a bit of meaning and strength. We all will go before God our Creator, where we will need to account for what we did with the incredible gift of life and all the blessings that God so lovingly has provided.) 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. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.