"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. St. John 10:1-6Bishop John preaches to the Church on the cusp of the 4th and 5th centuries:
Observe the marks of a robber. First, that he does not enter openly. Second, he does not enter according to the Scriptures, for this is, "not by the door."From St. John Chrysostom, "Homilies on the Gospel of John 59:2-3", as found in The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, NT IVa: John 1-10 (p. 338).
Here also, Jesus refers to those who had been before and to those who would come after him: antichrist and the false christs, Judas and Theudas [see Acts 5:35-38], and whoever else there have been of the same kind.
And 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 on 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.
Bishop John preaches to the Church on the cusp of the 20th and 21st centuries: "[I]f 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 if we in the Church undo Scripture, . . . hmmm.