October 25th, 2006
In the final judgement, the winners are the sheep and the losers are the goats. If you feed hungry people, give drinks to thirsty people, provide hospitality to strangers, care for sick people and visit prisoners, then you get to be counted amongst the sheep. If you look after yourself but fail to look after the needs of other people, particularly the poor and the most vulnerable people, then you get to be counted amongst the goats. You can’t be counted as a follower of Jesus if you don’t do stuff to help other people. Knowledge and intellectual understanding of doctrines are not enough.
Matthew’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 25
25:1 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 25:2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 25:3 The foolish ones took no spare oil for their lamps, 25:4 but the wise ones did take spare oil. 25:5 The bridegroom was delayed and they all nodded off and fell asleep. 25:6 At midnight there was a shout, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!’ 25:7 All the bridesmaids woke up and got their lamps ready. 25:8 The foolish asked the wise, ‘Can we borrow some oil, because our lamps are running out?’ 25:9 But the wise answered, ‘Go to the shop and buy some for yourselves, because we mightn’t have enough for you as well as ourselves.’ 25:10 While they were away buying oil the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet and the door was shut. 25:11 Later the other bridesmaids came and said, ‘Sir, Sir, open the door for us.’ 25:12 But he answered, ‘Really? I don’t know you.’ 25:13 So look out, because you don’t know the day or time when the Son of Man is coming.
25:14 “It is like a man going to another country, who called his servants and entrusted his goods to them. 25:15 He gave five talents of money to one, two talents to another, and one talent to another, according to their abilities. Then he went on his journey. 25:16 The servant who got the five talents went and traded with them, and made a profit of another five talents. 25:17 The servant who got the two talents earned another two. 25:18 But the servant who got the one talent went away and hid the man’s money in a hole which he dug.
25:19 “A long time later the master of those servants came back to settle accounts with them. 25:20 The five talent servant brought the other five talents, saying, ‘Master, you gave me five talents, and I have made another five talents.’ 25:21 The master said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. I’m really pleased with you.’
25:22 “The two talent servant said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. I have made another two talents.’ 25:23 The master said, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things. I’m really pleased with you.’
25:24 “The one talent servant said, ‘Master, I knew you that you are a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter. 25:25 I was afraid I might lose it, so I hid your talent in the earth. Here is what belongs to you.’
25:26 “But the master answered, ‘You wicked and lazy servant. You knew that I reap where I didn’t sow, and gather where I didn’t scatter. 25:27 You should at least have deposited my money in the bank so that I would have received it back with interest on my return. 25:28 So take the talent, and give it to the servant who has ten talents. 25:29 Everyone who has something will be given more until it overflows, but even the little which they have will be taken away from those who have nothing. 25:30 Throw the useless servant out into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in glory with all the holy angels, he will sit on a glorious throne. 25:32 All the nations will gather before him and he will separate people from each other, as a shepherd separates sheep from goats. 25:33 He will put the sheep on his right side and the goats on the left. 25:34 The king will tell those on his right side, ‘You’re blessed by my Father. Come and inherit the Kingdom prepared for you since the beginning of the world. 25:35 When I was hungry you gave me food to eat. When I was thirsty you gave me drink. When I was a stranger you took me in. 25:36 When I was naked you clothed me. When I was sick you looked after me. When I was in prison you visited me.’
25:37 “The righteous people will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you, or thirsty, and give you a drink? 25:38 When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in, or naked, and clothe you? 25:39 When did we see you sick or in prison, and come to you?’
25:40 “The King will answer, ‘I can guarantee that you did it to me when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers.’ 25:41 Then he will tell those on his left side, ‘You are cursed. Go off into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 25:42 When I was hungry you didn’t give me food to eat. When I was thirsty you gave me nothing to drink. 25:43 When I was a stranger you wouldn’t take me in. When I was naked you didn’t clothe me. When I was sick and in prison you didn’t visit me.’
25:44 “They will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’ 25:45 He will answer, ‘I can guarantee that you refused to help me when you refused to help one of the least of these.’ 25:46 They will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous will go to eternal life.”
Entry Filed under: Generosity