Monday, September 21, 2009

Either Way You Read It...

There's a familiar passage in Matthew 25 that describes a day when the Son of Man will come in his glory. With all the nations gathered before him, he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Interestingly, the basis for dividing them is not that the "sheep" confessed faith in Jesus while the "goats" did not. It's that the sheep acted in tangible and loving ways toward the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, and the vulnerable... while the goats did not.

Here's a paraphrase of a portion of Matthew 25 for a 21st century reader:

For I was hungry, while you had all you needed.
I was thirsty, but you drank bottled water.

I was a stranger, and you wanted me deported.

I needed clothes, but you wanted more clothes.

I was sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness.

I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved.

Either way you read it, Jesus has clear expectations for those of us who follow him.