Door and shepherd

Daily Reading for May 5

[Jesus] he rightly calls the Scriptures “a door,” for they bring us to God and open to us the knowledge of God. They make us his sheep. They guard us and do not let the wolves come in after us. For Scripture, like some sure door, bars the passage against the heretics, placing us in a state of safety as to all that we desire and not allowing us to wander. And, if we do not undo Scripture, we shall not easily be conquered by our enemies. By Scripture we can know all, both those who are and those who are not shepherds. But what does “into the fold” mean? It refers to the sheep and their care. For whoever does not use the Scriptures but “climbs up some other way,” that is, who cuts out for himself another and an unusual way, “the same is a thief.” . . . When our Lord further calls himself the door, we should not be surprised. According to the office that he bears, he is in one place the shepherd, in another the sheep. In that he introduces us to the Father, he is the door; in that he takes care of us, he is the shepherd.

From Homiles on the Gospel of John 59.2-3, by John Chrysostom, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament IVa, John 1-10, edited by Joel C. Elowsky (Downer’s Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2006).

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