There is so much to discuss in class. Our group discussed the "Going deeper" section of the lesson. The workbook asks, "Do you think Jesus is teaching that one is saved based on his works?" The answer is clearly no, but the author gave little explanation of the sheep and the goats parable.
In the video, the author started the discussion on verse 34, if my memory serves. The earlier verses read, "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on the throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepard separates the sheep from the goats." By verse 34, the sheep and goats are already separated, based upon their faith (lambs book of life). The familiar passage of caring for the needs of the needy follow.
The sheep respond not with confirmation of their acts but with some surprise. "When did we see you hungry?" Why were they surprised? Were they surprised because someone was watching or because they discovered Jesus in those situations? What motivated them to act in giving ways? God did, for no good thing comes from man.
In my own life, I have learned that it's God who gives me an eye for the needy. In some ways, my willingness to act on behalf of others reflects my relationship with Him. As my relationship has changed, I continue to learn the meaning of "If you love me, keep my commandments" and "thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven." As odd as it might sound, I serve the orphans of China to please God, to glorify Him. I know it is subtle, but at times I have to ask myself if I am serving orphans or God. I can confidently say when I serve God and seek to please him, orphans are cared for.