I love and fear this text at the same time. The image is so provocative, and the call so clear, simple, and challenging. The frightening thing for me comes as I read vs. 45: ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ There is no one who can stand innocent before this charge, no one who has met the need of everyone they could. Therefore, according to the text, we are all goats, regardless of how close we come, or how much we do for others. The end result of this is that only by standing under the mercy of Christ can we be viewed as sheep. No one is holier than another, no one is righteous enough. All have fallen short of God’s righteousness. As these people stand before the Son of Man, Jesus, I wonder who they are. The word in vs. 32 often translated nations can mean Gentiles, ethnic groups, multitudes, even the whole of humanity. It may be that Jesus is talking only about the judgement of the Gentiles, or perhaps of all human kind, or perhaps of those who have not followed Jesus in this life. Whatever the case, I hear again the call to see and respond to the real human needs around me with the expectation that I will be asked to give an account for my actions and my faithfulness in serving those around me.