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The Shepherd and His Sheep

10 Jesus said, “It is certainly true that when a man enters the sheep pen, he should use the gate. If he climbs in some other way, he is a robber. He is trying to steal the sheep. But the man who takes care of the sheep enters through the gate. He is the shepherd. The man who guards the gate opens the gate for the shepherd. And the sheep listen to the voice of the shepherd. He calls his own sheep, using their names, and he leads them out. He brings all of his sheep out. Then he goes ahead of them and leads them. The sheep follow him, because they know his voice. But sheep will never follow someone they don’t know. They will run away from him, because they don’t know his voice.”

Jesus told the people this story, but they did not understand what it meant.

Jesus Is the Good Shepherd

So Jesus said again, “I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep. All those who came before me were thieves and robbers. The sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will be able to come in and go out. They will find everything they need. 10 A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I came to give life—life that is full and good.

11 “I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12 The worker who is paid to keep the sheep is different from the shepherd. The paid worker does not own the sheep. So when he sees a wolf coming, he runs away and leaves the sheep alone. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13 The man runs away because he is only a paid worker. He does not really care for the sheep.

14-15 “I am the shepherd who cares for the sheep. I know my sheep just as the Father knows me. And my sheep know me just as I know the Father. I give my life for these sheep. 16 I have other sheep too. They are not in this flock here. I must lead them also. They will listen to my voice. In the future there will be one flock and one shepherd.[a] 17 The Father loves me because I give my life. I give my life so that I can get it back again. 18 No one takes my life away from me. I give my own life freely. I have the right to give my life, and I have the right to get it back again. This is what the Father told me.”

19 Again the Jews were divided over what Jesus was saying. 20 Many of them said, “A demon has come into him and made him crazy. Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “These aren’t the words of someone controlled by a demon. A demon cannot heal the eyes of a blind man.”

The Jewish Leaders Against Jesus

22 It was winter, and the time came for the Festival of Dedication[b] at Jerusalem. 23 Jesus was in the Temple area at Solomon’s Porch. 24 The Jewish leaders gathered around him. They said, “How long will you make us wonder about you? If you are the Messiah, then tell us clearly.”

25 Jesus answered, “I told you already, but you did not believe. I do miracles in my Father’s name. These miracles show who I am. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give my sheep eternal life. They will never die, and no one can take them out of my hand. 29 My Father is the one who gave them to me, and he is greater than all.[c] No one can steal my sheep out of his hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

31 Again the Jews there picked up stones to kill Jesus. 32 But he said to them, “The many wonderful things you have seen me do are from the Father. Which of these good things are you killing me for?”

33 They answered, “We are not killing you for any good thing you did. But you say things that insult God. You are only a man, but you say you are the same as God! That is why we are trying to kill you!”

34 Jesus answered, “It is written in your law that God said, ‘I said you are gods.’[d] 35 This Scripture called those people gods—the people who received God’s message. And Scripture is always true. 36 So why do you accuse me of insulting God for saying, ‘I am God’s Son’? I am the one God chose and sent into the world. 37 If I don’t do what my Father does, then don’t believe what I say. 38 But if I do what my Father does, you should believe in what I do. You might not believe in me, but you should believe in the things I do. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

39 They tried to get Jesus again, but he escaped from them.

40 Then he went back across the Jordan River to the place where John began his work of baptizing people. Jesus stayed there, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “John never did any miraculous signs, but everything John said about this man is true.” 42 And many people there believed in Jesus.


  1. John 10:16 I have other sheep … shepherd Jesus means he has followers who are not Jews. See Jn. 11:52.
  2. John 10:22 Festival of Dedication Hanukkah, or “Festival of Lights,” a special week in December celebrating the time in 165 B.C. when the Jerusalem Temple was made pure and ready again for Jewish worship. Before then it had been under the control of a foreign (Greek) army and used for pagan worship.
  3. John 10:29 he … than all Some Greek copies have “they are greater than all.”
  4. John 10:34 Quote from Ps. 82:6.

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