The Discomfort of the Sheep and the Goats

The text for Sunday is Matthew 25:31-46, the parable of the sheep and the goats. As is typical for Jesus, there is something here to offend just about every theological stripe.

For those who fear the words “works/righteousness”, there is some contorting of the text that needs to take place to feel comfortable once again that it is “faith alone” or “just believing” that gets you into heaven.

For those who are universalists, the whole separating out and sending the goats off to “eternal punishment” takes some finessing as well.

For those who just don’t give a rip about the poor, or they should find their own way, or if they just worked hard enough… well, it’s not comfortable, either.

There are times where we need to realize the Word makes us squirm and we need to feel that discomfort. And we need to slow it down and not be so quick to explain things away so we can get back to our particular pet views. Too often we examine the Word and forget to let the Word examine us.

6 thoughts on “The Discomfort of the Sheep and the Goats

  1. Thankyou for that – a most pertinent text for the world today – I am preparing the intercessions for this Sunday so have an opportunity to get a few people squirming in the pews! Lord please help me with the right words to use! I guess in any life situation we should always ask ourselves the question “What would Jesus do?”

  2. I think this is a misunderstood scripture. The mistake coming in identifying the “least of these my brethren”. I always assumed it was the poor. I now lean towards the “least of these my brethren” being the disciples.

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