I was the Stranger
33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
Here is a very powerful few verses that we find in the Bible, and in particular, in the words of Jesus himself. In these verses Jesus is showing us what will be the difference between those who are saved and those who are lost. The saved are seen as sheep and go on his right side with the lost are goats and go to the left.
The first thing you notice is that it is intimately related to God. He will decide who goes where. He is the final judge and there is nothing that either forces his actions or impedes them. Whomever he decides to be saved will be and vice versa.
The second thing is that it comes down to our actions. This might sound strange because we keep saying that we are saved by grace and not works but these words are still true and not in conflict.
The good works of giving food, drink, shelter, clothes and visitation are done to people but God points it to himself. In doing this what he is really saying is that it isn’t the actions themselves that save but the reasoning behind it. It’s the love and connection to God, the relationship, where the salvation truly lies. In other words, doing good things for selfish or wrong reasons does nothing for your salvation but your actions done through righteous and good reasons shows the transformation you have experiences through the Holy Spirit to God.
The third thing you’ll notice is that Jesus doesn’t even mention prayer, church, the bible or other things traditionally connected with religion. No. He instead focusses on the everyday actions of life that should be molded by our experiences we learn and grow from our religious experiences.
May we learn from God and be transformed by the Holy Spirit so that our everyday life and actions may be worthy to be put on God’s right side.
Pr. Steven Couto