There is a well known passage from the Scriptures, meditated upon, not only by monastics, but all brothers and sisters within the Community.
“The disciples said to Yeshua, ‘We know that you will depart from us. Who is to be our leader?’ Yeshua said to them, ‘Wherever you are, you are to go to Ya’aqub ha’Tzaddik, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being.’”
— The Gospel of Thomas
Yeshua’s Followers attempt to embody this commandment of our Lord Yeshua Mashiach. We worship God and give reverence to His Son Yeshua, and we look to the Teacher of Righteousness for our guide while living on earth.
How do we do this? By obedience. Being obedient means, not only giving respect to the Teacher of Righteousness and to those whom he appoints as shepherds among Yeshua’s sheep, but also following the instructions he provides through communiques, apostolic letters and other letters. Such instructions are like a map for our faith and our walk with Messiah and His shepherds.
Our obedience does not stop there. It includes being faithful to the teachings of the Bishop which the Teacher of Righteousness appointed to oversee us.
The Teacher of Righteousness and the Bishop are not slave masters. They do not dole out responsibilities that we can not handle and when we fall short, they do not strike us with a whip. They are loving because they have the spirit of Messiah, and thus are compassionate.
Our shepherds serve as our spiritual compasses, guiding us in the right direction, heavenward, to the Kingdom of Light. If we ignore the hands on a compass, then we end up going down a most undesirable path.
It is a very great thing to obey, to live under a superior and not to be one’s own master, for it is much safer to be subject than it is to command. Many live in obedience more from necessity than from love. Such become discontented and dejected on the slightest pretext; they will never gain peace of mind unless they subject themselves wholeheartedly for the love of God. Go where you may, you will find no rest except in humble obedience to the rule of authority.
(Quote from the Imitation of Christ)