This is a familiar story to most Christians, and it’s been preached many times over the years to help people realize how much Jesus cares about our attitude toward those who are disadvantaged. And that’s certainly a needed emphasis.
Tomorrow I plan to focus on an interesting nuance in the text, something that I’ve never thought that much about. For the most part, I’m going to ignore the last part of the story–about the ones who ignored the needs of the hurting.
Instead, we’ll focus on the fascinating fact that the ones who blessed others–the “sheep”–seemingly had little awareness of how they had helped people. They were surprised on judgment day because they found out that God had noticed all of the little things that they had done over the years. And it seems like they didn’t even really remember doing them.
Compassion had apparently become such a part of their character that they didn’t even think about it. This is interesting, I think, and also worth exploring.
How do we become so close to Jesus that his heart becomes ours? How do we become the kind of people who just instinctively help others, even without any apparent forethought?