...the message of the latter portion of Matthew 25 is that there is no Christ without the values, and no values without the Christ. "As you have done ... you have done to me."Amen.
In this parable those who are ushered into paradise do not know that they have encountered Christ in the poor, the hungry, the imprisoned -- any more than those who failed to do so.
Moreover, Christ is here referring to "the nations" and how they treated Christ's "brothers" -- those in whom Christ is present. Thus shall the righteous who do not "know" Christ be saved -- through him -- on the basis of how they treated him. There is no salvation by gnosis; only by praxis -- for it is only in praxis that we know Christ. Love lives in loving actions, or it does not live at all.