Sermons

Summary: A look at Matthew chapter 25 verses 31 through 46

Health Checkup #1

Matthew 25: 31 – 46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 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: 35 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; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King 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.’ 41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 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.’ 44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘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?’ 45 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.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Sheep and goats are often seen together in the same fields. Farmers, ranchers, and herdsmen usually allow them to graze and roam in the same field. It is pointless to place them in different fields. Sheep and goats are free to wander and mingle together.

I’ve noticed there are some things that goats do but sheep would never attempt. The Bible uses the illustration of sheep as “good” and goats as “bad.” One may ask, “Is the behavior of the two so different that the goats deserve this reputation?”

When a sheep wants to eat from a tree and it cannot reach the branches, it humbly turns back to graze on the grass. But a goat will climb on any sheep standing under the tree to reach the leaves! Whenever goats have an advantage over sheep on the hillside, they just ram into the sheep, often without any obvious reason.

The easiest way to tell the difference between a sheep and goat is to look at their tails. A goat's tail goes up (unless it is sick, frightened, or in distress). Sheep tails hang down and are often docked (shortened) for health and sanitary reasons.

A big difference between sheep and goats is their foraging behavior and diet selection. Goats are natural browsers, preferring to eat leaves, twigs, vines, and shrubs. They are very agile and will stand on their hind legs to reach vegetation. Goats like to eat the tops of plants. Sheep are grazers, preferring to eat short, tender grasses and clover. Their dietary preference is forbs (broadleaf weeds) and they like to graze close to the soil surface. Goats require a more nutritious diet.

Sheep and goats tend to behavior differently. Goats are naturally curious and independent, while sheep tend to be more distant. Sheep have a stronger flocking instinct and become very agitated if they are separated from the rest of the flock. It is easier to keep sheep inside a fence than goats.

Goats will seek shelter more readily than sheep. Neither species likes to get its feet wet nor do both prefer upland grazing to lowland. In a fight, a ram will back up and charge to butt heads. A goat will rear up on his hind legs and come down forcibly to butt heads. During confrontation, such fighting behavior favors the ram.

The goat's ruminant nature is actually the most challenging facet of keeping goats. The animal will not be tied down to one spot. Blocked off from the outdoors, it will continually challenge its pen by finding means of escape either through jumping or craftily unlocking enclosures. Hence, the fence is of the utmost importance.

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