If Jesus Came…
Matthew 25:31-46 (The Message)
The Sheep and the Goats
31-33“When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.
34-36“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
37-40“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’
41-43“Then he will turn to the ‘goats,’ the ones on his left, and say, ‘Get out, worthless goats! You’re good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.’
44″Then those ‘goats’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn’t help?’
45“He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.’
46“Then those ‘goats’ will be herded to their eternal doom, but the ‘sheep’ to their eternal reward.”
Have you ever read the poem/heard the song “If Jesus Came to Your House”?
The poem/song asks us to imagine what we would we do if Jesus were to suddenly show up at our door. Would we have to change our behavior?
The kind of behaviors that the song asks about, tho, seem to me, rather trivial. We are asked questions like :
“Would we have to change the radio station?”
“Would we have to hide our reading materials?”
“Would we have to suddenly watch the content and expressions in our language?”
But from reading the above scripture, I can’t help but wonder if we would even be able to recognize Jesus if He sudddenly showed up at our door!
Contrary to all the lovely images of Jesus we have no doubt seen, it highly doubtful that Jesus looked like a White European……
Would He be welcome in most of our churches, let alone neighborhoods and churches?
In the U.S. there is a lot of resentment towards the “alien”, i.e., the stranger, and the homeless…..
What would we do with Jesus. who certainly would not be a U.S. citizen, and who as an adult, did not have a home of his own? ” And Jesus said unto him,”
Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
How do we react when someome who is not of our class, ou race, our denomination, our political party, is in need?
We can come up with all kinds of excuses to treat others as less, than ourselves, or for ignoring their needs, but if were Jesus, would we would treat Him any different?
It is Jesus Himself who says “I tell you the truth, In the same way way thay you did not show love and compassion for anyone, no matter how unimportant they seemed to you, or, undeserving, or unworthy, you were failing to love Me.”
Scary thought…..perhaps Jesus already came, and we turned Him away……
Every 3.6 seconds a real person dies from hunger somewhere in the world!!!
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