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The Shepherd and His Sheep

10 Jesus said, “·I tell you the truth [L Truly, truly I say to you], the person who does not enter the ·sheepfold [sheep pen] by the ·door [gate], but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. [C The sheep represent the people of God; the thief/robber stands for those who would lead them astray; Ps. 23; Ezek. 34.] The one who enters by the ·door [gate] is the shepherd of the sheep. The ·one who guards the door [gatekeeper; watchman] opens it for him. And the sheep listen to the voice of the shepherd. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out [compare Num. 27:15–17]. When he brings all his sheep out, he goes ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger. They will run away from him because they don’t know his voice.” Jesus told the people this ·story [figure of speech; illustration; parable], but they did not understand what ·it meant [he was telling them].

Jesus Is the Good Shepherd

So Jesus said again, “·I tell you the truth [L Truly, truly I say to you], I am the ·door [gate] for the sheep. [C Jesus now refers to himself as the door rather than the shepherd.] All the people who came before me were thieves and robbers [C others who claimed to be the Messiah]. The sheep did not listen to them. I am the ·door [gate], and the person who enters through me will be saved and will be able to come in and go out and find pasture [compare Ps. 118:20]. 10 A thief comes [L only] to steal and kill and destroy, but I came ·to give life [L that they might have life]—life in all its ·fullness [abundance].

11 “I am the good shepherd [contrast Zech. 11:17]. The good shepherd ·gives [lays down] his life for the sheep. 12 The ·worker who is paid to keep the sheep [L hired hand] is different from the shepherd who owns them. When the worker sees a wolf coming, he runs away and leaves the sheep alone. Then the wolf ·attacks [or snatches; seizes] the sheep and scatters them. 13 The man runs away because he is only a ·paid worker [hired hand] and does not really care about the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my ·sheep [L own], and my ·sheep [L own] know me, 15 just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father. I ·give [lay down] my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not in this ·flock [fold; pen; C a reference to future Gentile followers of Christ], and I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The Father loves me because I ·give [lay down] my life so that I can ·take [receive] it back again. 18 No one takes it away from me; I ·give [lay down] my own life ·freely [voluntarily; of my own free will]. I have the ·right [power; authority] to ·give [lay down] my life, and I have the ·right [power; authority] to ·take [receive] it back. This is what my Father commanded me to do.”

19 Again ·the leaders did not agree with each other [L there was a division among the Jews] because of these words of Jesus. 20 Many of them said, “·A demon has come into him and made him crazy [L He has a demon and is crazy]. Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “A man who is ·crazy with a demon [L demon-possessed] does not say things like this. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

Jesus Is Rejected

22 The time came for the ·Feast of Dedication [C also called Hanukkah or the Feast of Lights, recalling the rededication of the Temple in 164 bc] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the Temple in Solomon’s ·Porch [Portico; Colonnade; C on the eastern side of the Temple area; at a later time Christians gathered there to worship; Acts 3:11; 5:12]. 24 ·Some people [The Jewish leaders; L The Jews] gathered around him and said, “How long will you ·make us wonder [keep us in suspense] about you? If you are the ·Christ [Messiah], tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered them, “I told you already, but you did not believe. The ·miracles [L works] I do in my Father’s name ·show who I am [testify/bear witness about me]. 26 But you don’t believe, because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never ·die [perish], and no one can ·steal [snatch] them out of my hand. 29 My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all, and no person can ·steal [snatch] my sheep out of my Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

31 Again some of the ·people [Jewish leaders; L Jews] picked up stones to ·kill [L stone] Jesus. 32 But he ·said to [answered] them, “I have ·done [L shown you] many good works from the Father. Which of these good works are you ·killing [L stoning] me for?”

33 ·They [The Jewish leaders; L The Jews] answered him, “We are not ·killing [L stoning] you because of any good work you did, but ·because you speak against God [L for blasphemy]. You are only a human, but you ·say you are the same as God [claim to be God; L make yourself God]!”

34 Jesus answered them, “·It is written [L Is it not written…?] in your law that God said, ‘I said, you are gods’ [Ps. 82:6; C the “gods” here may be Israel’s judges, or the Israelites generally, or angelic powers]. 35 This Scripture called those people gods who received God’s ·message [word], and Scripture ·is always true [L cannot be broken/annulled/set aside]. 36 So why do you say that I ·speak against God [L blaspheme] because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? [C Jesus is not denying he is God, but is making a lesser-to-greater argument; if Scripture calls lesser beings “gods,” why should they object that he—the One God sent—calls himself the Son of God?] I am the one ·God [L the Father] ·chose [consecrated; set apart] and sent into the world. 37 If I don’t do ·what my Father does [L the works of my Father], then don’t believe me. 38 But if I do ·what my Father does [the works of my Father; L them], even though you don’t believe in me, believe ·what I do [L the works]. Then you will ·know [recognize; learn] and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

39 [L So] They tried to ·take [seize; arrest] Jesus again [see 7:30], but he escaped from ·them [L their hands].

40 Then he went back across the Jordan River to the place where John had ·first [or earlier] baptized. Jesus stayed there, 41 and many people came to him and said, “John never did a ·miracle [L sign], but everything John said about this man is true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.