After spending the past two posts (see part 1 and part 2) examining the parable of the “Sheep and the Goats” (Matthew 25:31-46) from a very tangible, physical works perspective, I want to spend the next two posts looking at the same verses from a personal, spiritual perspective. The spiritual teaching in this parable does not negate the physical, nor does the physical render the spiritual less important. As mentioned earlier, we are instructed in Ephesians 2:10 to be about doing these works. At the same time we must never forget that we are constantly engaged in a spiritual battle and so must be ever working on this area of our life as well.
Feed the Hungry. We are blessed to live in an era where there is no lack of information available. The internet has opened up the world for many, and answers to questions are but a few keystrokes away. Yet people still crave more information. They want it quicker and in ways that are meaningful to them. I think behind this desire is a simple search for meaning. People are hungry for truth and seek it in many ways. There is only one truth and that is the love and salvation found in Jesus Christ. We are commanded to tell everyone we meet about Christ (Mark 16:15). People are desperately hungry for the truth. We are spiritual beings and those without Christ are left with a huge ache in their soul. Our job is to feed them the truth of Jesus, the Bread of Life, and the only one who can fill their emptiness. At the same time, those who know Christ continue to hunger for more of Him. It is our duty to instruct them in wisdom and teach them the truth of scripture. We must look after the spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ; encourage them when they are discouraged, lift them up when they have fallen, minister to them when they are weak. Constantly feed on the Word of God and share with all who ask.
Give the thirsty a drink. Jesus once told a woman that if she would drink the water He offered, she would never be thirsty again (John 4:14). The water He was referring to was His Spirit. People need Jesus in their lives; they need His Spirit to fill them. Look at the world around you: hunger, starvation, desolation, terrorism, murder, rape and looting. This world is desperate for hope, desperate for an answer. There are thirsty people all around you, people in need of the living water of Christ. If you don’t tell them about Jesus, who will? Share the living water of Christ with them; allow them to drink their fill.
Take in strangers. What is the spiritual meaning behind the command to take in strangers? One thing I take from this is to remember to never show partiality toward anyone. We often tend to look down on different cultures and people groups. We have preconceived notions about them, often a result of a lifetime of wrong teaching. Satan loves to make us stumble by having us look past these individuals. We must repent of this and ask God to give us a spirit of compassion and equal acceptance of all people. Satan has gained extensive ground through the use of racism. We must take back the spiritual ground he has seized by correcting our heart attitude towards those who are different from us. There are no strangers in the kingdom of God, there is only family. Do not let Satan gain a foothold in your life through the evil of racism. Reject those thoughts outright and deal a deadly blow to Satan and his demons.
In the next post, we’ll wrap up this series. Your comments are always welcome and appreciated as we work through this passage. We can all learn something from each other. After all, that is what this life is all about. It’s about community. Let’s live in such a way that we are feeding each other with the words of Christ and quenching the thirst of those without Jesus by helping them to understand and receive God’s spirit in their own life. Finally, welcome all to the family of God. We all have critical roles to play, and we all must do our part; we need each other!