Matthew 25:31-46 – Meeting Jesus

On a bright Sunday morning, Lefty and his wife Goatrude were sitting at home enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee together. Lefty was slowly going through some of his emails.

And then, it happened.

“Oh, my goodness, look at this!” said Lefty to Goatrude. “I got an e-mail from Jesus! It says he will be here at 10am on Sunday. Egad! That’s any minute now!”

“The house is a mess! Hurry! Let’s get this all picked up.” said Goatrude. “And, for God’s sake, where is that big Bible? It needs to be here on the coffee table when Jesus gets here!”

“I think I know where that Bible is….” said Lefty. After rummaging around a junk closet, Lefty found the Bible dusted it off, and placed it prominently on the coffee table as the centerpiece of the living room.

As Goatrude and Lefty were hurriedly trying to make everything just right for Jesus, there was a knock at the door.

“That must be Jesus!” said Goatrude. “Answer it, Lefty. And, for goodness sake, stand up straight and be polite. We want Jesus to see us at our best.”

Lefty answered the door, surprised to see a ragged looking young man on the step.

“I’m sorry to bother you on a Sunday morning, but I haven’t had anything to eat all weekend. Might you have some food to spare?”

Perturbed with this interruption, Lefty answered the young man harshly. “No, I don’t. You need to go, right away. I have an important guest coming, and he’ll be here anytime now.” And he slammed the door shut.

Lefty had barely began getting back to tidying the living room when another knock came at the door.

“He’s here!” said Goatrude, moving quickly toward the door. But when she opened it, there stood a harried looking woman.

“Hello. My car broke down and I can’t get it started. And my cell phone died. Might I come in for just a few minutes so that I can get a bit warmed up and make a phone call?” said the woman.

Goatrude rudely responded, “We all have problems lady. I’ve got my own right now. You try and get ready for a visit from Jesus at the last minute. Try someone else.” And with that, Goatrude shut the door.

Lefty and Goatrude continued their hasty preparations for a visit from Jesus, when yet a third knock came at their door. This time, they answered it together, believing this to be Jesus for sure.

But when they opened the door, a frantic husband immediately said, “My wife just fell on the sidewalk. Please help me!”

“For God’s sake, man, we’re about to have Jesus here! We can’t be seen with a woman lying in front of our house! Get her up and go next door. And make it quick!”

Together, Goatrude and Lefty shut the door. Then, they sat down and anticipated Jesus to show.

Minutes pass… It’s now 10:15 and no Jesus. So, Goatrude, looking at Lefty, says, “I never figured Jesus to be somebody who is late. Maybe he got held up.”

“Hey, how about if I open this Bible and read something. When Jesus gets here, we’ll impress him with some knowledge. We’ll be the talk of the town, hosting Jesus.”

So, Lefty opened the big book, randomly turned to a page, and began reading….

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me, I was in prison, and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger, and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (New International Version)

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