This is perhaps one of the best known parables. Do we treat is as a parable, or as an actual description of the situation? It follows immediately on the trail of the bridesmaids and the talents, with no break in between, as a parable about the end of the age. Sheep, one side, goats, the other – what’s the difference?
There appears to be a clear message about conduct, more than about belief, and a consequence. Why tell this to the disciples in the last week? Why tell it to us this week?