Sheep & Goats


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Matthew 25:31-46 from an easy-to-understand Bible.

Discuss the following:

1) What are people compared to in this passage? (Sheep and goats)
2) Who will go to the right of Jesus, the Son of Man? (sheep)
3) Who will go to the left? (goats)
4) Who do the sheep and goats represent? (believers and unbelievers or the obedient and the disobedient) 
5) Who receives a reward? (the ones on the right, the sheep)
6) Why did they receive a reward? (they followed Jesus' example of loving others by feeding the poor and helping the helpless.)
7) Who is punished in this passage? (the goats)
8) Why? (they did not help the helpless and feed the poor)

If you like this lesson, then you'll
love the lessons in

The Parables of Jesus

"Sheep & Goats" is not in 
The Parables of Jesus series.

9) What do you think Jesus wants us to understand about believing in him? (Believing is more than understanding that Jesus existed or died for our sins. In fact, the Bible tells us that even the demons believe in Jesus [James 2:19]. Believing means to trust your entire life on Jesus, then turn from your sins and follow him. The Bible tells us that faith without good works is dead [James 2:26]. If we have true faith, then good works is the natural result of following Jesus. Believing is more than understanding something about God in your mind. Believing is understanding in your mind what the Bible teaches us about God, trusting in Jesus to save you and following his example with our actions. If your life doesn't show a progression of becoming more and more like Jesus, then you should examine what you believe and to whom you are trusting for your salvation.)
10) When you do good to others, who does Jesus say you are really serving? (him)
11) When you don't help others, who are you not serving? (Jesus)

Pray: "Dear Jesus, thank you for teaching us what it means to really follow you. Help us to trust you and to do good to those we meet. Amen."

Game: "Sheep & Goats"

Set Up: Establish a large playing area. On one side of the playing area establish a "pen" for the sheep using flags, ropes or hoses. On the other side of the playing area establish a "pen" for the goats. Divide the class into thirds. One third are the shepherds, one third are the goats and one third are the sheep. Give one color of arm bands (or colored clothes pins) to the goats and another color to the sheep. DON'T TELL THE SHEEP AND GOATS WHAT THEIR COLOR REPRESENTS. Before the game begins tell only the shepherds which color represents the goats and which color represents the sheep. Also tell the shepherds which "pen" the sheep and goats must be sent to.

How To Play: The sheep and goats begin at the center of the playing area with the shepherds standing to the sides. At the go, teacher yells, "Divide the sheep and goats!" At which point the shepherds attempt to tag the sheep and goats. If a shepherd tags a sheep or goat, he or she leads the sheep or goat to the sheep or goat pen (which was designated before the game began). Once all the sheep and goats are in their pens, teacher tells the players who the sheep and goats are. Play continues as long as time allows with players taking turns being the shepherds, sheep and goats. 

After The Game: Ask the players, "When the end of the age comes, what do you want to be, a sheep or a goat? Obviously we want to be "sheep". How can we be sure we are God's sheep? (Allow for discussion. Refer to the explanation under question # 9, above.)

Copyright 2005 - S. A. Keith - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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