10 “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up from some other place [on the stone wall], that one is a thief and a robber.2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep [the protector and provider].3 The [a]doorkeeper opens [the gate] for this man, and the sheep hear his voice and pay attention to it. And [knowing that they listen] he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out [to pasture].4 When he has brought all his own sheep outside, he walks on ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice and recognize his call.5 They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”6 Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what He was talking about.
7 So Jesus said again, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I am [b]the Door for the sheep [leading to life].8 All who came before Me [as false messiahs and self-appointed leaders] are thieves and robbers, but the [true] sheep did not hear them.9 I am the Door; anyone who enters through Me will be saved [and will live forever], and will go in and out [freely], and find pasture (spiritual security).10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].
11 [c]I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd [d]lays down His [own] life for the sheep.12 But the hired man [who merely serves for wages], who is neither the shepherd nor the owner of the sheep, when he sees the wolf coming, deserts the flock and runs away; and the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them.13 The man runs because he is a hired hand [who serves only for wages] and is not concerned about the [safety of the] sheep.14 I am the Good Shepherd, and I know [without any doubt those who are] My own and My own know Me [and have a deep, personal relationship with Me]—15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My [very own] life [sacrificing it] for the benefit of the sheep.16 I have [e]other sheep [beside these] that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they will listen to My voice and pay attention to My call, and they will become [f]one flock with one Shepherd.17 For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My [own] life so that I may take it back.18 No one takes it away from Me, but I lay it down voluntarily. I am authorized and have power to lay it down and to give it up, and I am authorized and have power to take it back. This command I have received from My Father.”
19 A division [of opinion] occurred again among the Jews because of these words [of His].
John 10:3The shepherd’s hired assistant who guarded the sheep at night when they were inside the stone enclosure.
John 10:7The third of the memorable “I am” statements. See note 6:35.
John 10:11The fourth of the memorable “I am” statements. See note 6:35.
John 10:11A reference to the atoning sacrifice Jesus was going to make to provide the way for sinners to be saved and reconciled with God.
John 10:16Jews and Gentiles will be joined through their personal belief in Jesus. The revelation that God intended to unite the Jews and Gentiles into one body of believers was a difficult concept to accept for many in the early church.
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