Are you a sheep or a goat? Believe it or not, that’s a question with eternal implications.
When Jesus returns, He’ll “separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” (Matthew 25:32)
Here’s what He’ll say to the sheep:
“Come you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” (Matthew 25:34-36)
The sheep are confused. They ask:
“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did you see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” (Matthew 25:37-39)
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
I don’t know about you, but I find that plenty motivating. Need more? Here’s what Jesus says to the goats:
“Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” (Matthew 25:41-43)
The goats are confused, too. They ask:
“Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?” (Matthew 25:44)
“I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” (Matthew 25:45)
What do the goats get? Eternal punishment. The sheep? Eternal life. Sounds like a pretty clear choice.
Want to serve Jesus? Feed the hungry. Take in strangers. Clothe the needy. Care for the sick. Visit prisoners.