This is the text to the message I gave at Camas Friends Church on Jesus Sheep and Goats parable in Matt. 25.
Matthew 25 (From Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch Gospel):
When the son of man starts his revolution with all his band around him, then he was assume some authority. And all the nations will be assembled before him, and he will sort them out like a farmer separates out his cows from his hogs, penning the cows on the right and the hogs on the left.
Then the leader of the movement will say to those on his right, ‘come you pride of my father, share in the movement that was set up for you since creation; for I was hungry and your shared your food with me; I was thirsty and you shared your water with me; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; ragged and you clothed me, sick and you nursed me; I was in jail and you stood by me. Then the people of justice will answer, ‘Sir, when did we see you hungry and share our food, or thirsty and share our water? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or ragged and clothe you? When did we see you sick, or in jail, and stand by you? And the leader of the movement will reply, ‘When you did it to one of the humblest brothers or sisters of mine, you did it to me.
“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you fallen skunks, and into the flaming hell reserved for the Confuser and his crowd. For I was hungry and you shared nothing with me; I was thirsty and you gave me no water; I was a stranger and you didn’t welcome me, ragged and you didn’t clothe me, sick and in jail, and you didn’t stand by me.’ Then these too will ask, ‘Sir, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or ragged or sick and in jail, and do nothing about your needs?’ Then he’ll answer, “When you failed one of these humblest people you failed me.’ These will take an awful beating, while the just ones will have the joy of living.”
I am drawn to a number of “surprises” in this parable. In fact, I think that more than having to do with judgement the surprises are what make this story turn.