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In some other instance, Christ described Himself as a Shepherd. But now, He describes Himself as  the door. The shepherd and the sheep, He says, must pass through the door. . .meaning to say, both the shepherd and the sheep must pass through Christ, the door. This is done through obedience to His commands.

If the Shepherd does not pass through the door, that is, Christ's commands, how can he lead the sheep through the same door? He cannot. Thus, the shepherd who tries to enter by another way is a thief and a brigand. These are the spiritual leaders who teach a way to heaven other than obedience to Christ's commands.

If the shepherd obeys Christ's commands and teaches his sheep the same commands, then the sheep become acquainted with his voice, i.e. his teachings. The commands of Christ are such that, when one is understood, the others are more easily understood. The commands of Christ, sort of, check on one another.

So, if the sheep masters one command of Christ, they will easily detect errors, i.e. the voice of thieves and brigands, while the shepherd who perseveres in obeying the commands of Christ will always be recognized by his teachings. 

And who is the hireling that runs away when the wolves come? The sheep is said to be under attack by wolves when the devils are tempting the sheep; this temptation may sometimes appear externally in the form of vices and defects. The true shepherd will correct these faults. The hireling will not correct the faults. Not to give the necessary rebuke or correction is to run away when the sheep is under attack by the wolves.




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