You’ve done a lot of good things, but none of them will earn you the credit with God. Nobody is good enough to enter his glory. Nobody, that is, but Jesus himself. And regardless of your morality and in spite of your immorality, you know you are a sheep if you listen to the voice of Jesus and put your faith in him alone. Then his goodness becomes yours. It’s the only way in. Your goodness isn’t good enough. But Christ’s is.
The filmmakers bungle the answer, which was to be expected. They depict Joanne explaining the context of the question, the separating of the sheep and the goats at the end of days.
I went with my family last summer to see the new Fred Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Overall it was an excellent film, and we enjoyed it very much. As I said in my night-of tweet thread, you and I could quibble with portions of it—the filmmaker seems intent on highlighting Rogers’s treatment of a gay cast member as indicative of his inclusive outlook, which is actually not evident from any of Rogers’s public statements and not at all clear even from the anecdotes included—but a few directorial concerns aside, it was a moving tribute with many touching interviews with family, friends, and “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” cast and crew.
This will not be one of those “the gospel according to [insert film here]” posts, but I do think one particular portion of the documentary lends itself to (what ought to be) a deep question at the heart of every person. The filmmakers seem largely disinterested in Rogers’s theology, such as it was, although of course they couldn’t avoid the subject entirely. Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister, and it should be clear to those who can make the connection with a Christian worldview that he was intent on treating every person he met as an image-bearer of God. As far as I can recall, the name Jesus is not mentioned at all in the film, which is interesting (and telling), except in one humorous moment where one of Rogers’s sons talks about what it was like having “Mr. Rogers” as a dad—”He was a like a second Christ to us.”
Of course, we don’t need a second Christ. The first is Christ enough. But we shouldn’t read too much into this statement. What mom or dad wouldn’t want their adult kids to be able to say in some form after we’re gone that being parented by us was like encountering Jesus?