Bringing the Text to Life
At a Glance
If you serve in a rural community, you'll be all over this material. You might even be able to get a sheep and goat and put them to grazing on the church lawn. Since Jesus is talking about goats and sheep, we devote this Sunday's discussion to the metaphor he himself chose -- barnyard animals.
For material based on this same gospel text, see "Are You an EB?," November 21, 1999, at HomileticsOnline.com.
If you had to be an animal during Bible times, it would be preferable not to be goat. For one reason, there's that whole scapegoat thing. The scapegoat was the goat over whose head the high priest Aaron confessed the sins of the people of Israel on the Day of Atonement. Then the goat, symbolically bearing their sins, was driven out into the wilderness, where it probably became dinner for a hungry lion.
Of course, one might argue, being a sheep could be equally as dangerous. A sheep, after giving up its wool, often appeared on the dinner table, or in the stew, or...