I always thought Jesus’ story about separating the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25:31-46 was rather like picking heads or tails. Surely the shepherd prefers sheep to goats!
When we came across this passage in a Bible Study with Nepali believers, I saw this familiar passage in a new light. One Nepali brother had firsthand experience of shepherding sheep and goats. “Sheep” he said, “stick together with the flock, they follow the leader, they are loyal and trusting. Goats however, are independent and stubborn; they wander off on their own, they are cunning.”
Clearly then there are characteristics of sheep that are like the people God wants us to be and characteristics of goats that are like people’s sinful and rebellious hearts. It was very obvious to my Nepali brother why Jesus chose the sheep to be at his right side and the goats to be at his left.
Breathing the Bible is an INF Australia blog series, exploring how life and service in Nepal influenced the way people read and respond to Scripture.
The author of this post is currently serving in Nepal and wishes to remain anonymous in order to support and protect Nepali Christians.
Other posts in the series:
Breathing The Bible: Family
Breathing The Bible: Fellowship
Breathing The Bible: Prayer
Breathing The Bible: Story
Breathing The Bible: Sacrifice
Breathing The Bible: Kingdom
Breathing The Bible: Justice
Breathing The Bible: Wedding
Breathing the Bible: Gain