“All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another…” (Matthew 25:32)
My favorite sport is basketball – not so much watching, but playing. As a kid I would shoot hoops by the hour. My dream was to someday play on the local high school team…to see my name in lights…to hear the roar of the crowd as I hit the game-winner with time running out. It’s every kid’s fantasy.
And actually, I got to be a pretty good shooter. My claim to fame was making twenty-eight (28) consecutive shots in a foul-shooting contest. But that would not be enough. I had some ‘holes in my game,’ as they say. I couldn’t dribble; I wasn’t durable (skinny as a bean pole). I lacked confidence and was easily intimidated by the bigger boys. So when try-outs came around my freshman year, I did not do so well. The following year, I fared no better. The coach said I had potential, but I DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT. As a upcoming Junior there would always be the JV squad. Well – no, that didn’t happen either. In fact, the harsh reality is I would NEVER get chosen to play on any of my school’s basketball teams.
A silly little anecdote, for sure, and certainly one that pales in comparison to the gravity of our narrative, where NOT MAKING THE CUT meant being cast away from God and Christ forever and all eternity. Now that’s sobering.
And yet, all through scripture we see the nations (people in general) being separated – the left from the right; the sheep from the goats; the wheat from the tares, the wide path from the narrow, etc. Not surprisingly, this story follows the narrative on End Times prophesy (Chapter 24). Will we be ready? Will we make the team?
Postscript: My senior year I got to sit on the bench as the team statistician. Rubbing shoulders with the guys was great, but it never got me in the game.