A Story about Sheep
1 Jesus said:
I tell you for certain only thieves and robbers climb over the fence instead of going in through the gate to the sheep pen. 2-3 But the gatekeeper opens the gate for the shepherd, and he goes in through it. The sheep know their shepherd's voice. He calls each of them by name and leads them out.
4 When he has led out all of his sheep, he walks in front of them, and they follow, because they know his voice. 5 The sheep will not follow strangers. They don't recognize a stranger's voice, and they run away.
6 Jesus told the people this story. But they did not understand what he was talking about.
Jesus Is the Good Shepherd
7 Jesus said:
I tell you for certain that I am the gate for the sheep. 8 Everyone who came before me was a thief or a robber, and the sheep did not listen to any of them. 9 I am the gate. All who come in through me will be saved. Through me they will come and go and find pasture.
10 A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so everyone would have life, and have it fully. 11 I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep. 12 Hired workers are not like the shepherd. They don't own the sheep, and when they see a wolf coming, they run off and leave the sheep. Then the wolf attacks and scatters the flock. 13 Hired workers run away because they don't care about the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me. 15 Just as the Father knows me, I know the Father, and I give up my life for my sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not in this sheep pen. I must also bring them together, when they hear my voice. Then there will be one flock of sheep and one shepherd.
17T he Father loves me, because I give up my life, so I may receive it back again. 18 No one takes my life from me. I give it up willingly! I have the power to give it up and the power to receive it back again, just as my Father commanded me to do.
19 The people took sides because of what Jesus had told them. 20 Many of them said, “He has a demon in him! He is crazy! Why listen to him?”
21 But others said, “How could anyone with a demon in him say these things? No one like this could give sight to a blind person!”
Jesus Is Rejected
22 That winter, Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Temple Festival. 23 One day he was walking in the part of the temple known as Solomon's Porch, 24 and the people gathered all around him. They said, “How long are you going to keep us guessing? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly!”
25 Jesus answered:
I have told you, and you refused to believe me. The things I do by my Father's authority show who I am. 26 But since you are not my sheep, you don't believe me. 27 My sheep know my voice, and I know them. They follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life, so that they will never be lost. No one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father gave them to me, and he is greater than all others. No one can snatch them from his hands, 30 and I am one with the Father.
31 Once again the people picked up stones in order to kill Jesus. 32 But he said, “I have shown you many good things my Father sent me to do. Which one are you going to stone me for?”
33 They answered, “We are not stoning you because of any good thing you did. We are stoning you because you did a terrible thing. You are just a man, and here you are claiming to be God!”
34 Jesus replied:
In your Scriptures doesn't God say, “You are gods”? 35 You can't argue with the Scriptures, and God spoke to those people and called them gods. 36 So why do you accuse me of a terrible sin for saying that I am the Son of God? After all, it is the Father who prepared me for this work. He is also the one who sent me into the world. 37 If I don't do as my Father does, you should not believe me. 38 But if I do what my Father does, you should believe because of that, even if you don't have faith in me. Then you will know for certain that the Father is one with me, and I am one with the Father.
39 Again they wanted to arrest Jesus. But he escaped 40 and crossed the Jordan to the place where John had earlier been baptizing. While Jesus was there, 41 many people came to him. They were saying, “John didn't work any miracles, but everything he said about Jesus is true.” 42 A lot of those people also put their faith in Jesus.