Jesus, the Good Shepherd

“I can guarantee this truth: The person who doesn’t enter the sheep pen through the gate but climbs in somewhere else is a thief or a robber. But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep respond to his voice. He calls his sheep by name and leads them out of the pen. After he has brought out all his sheep, he walks ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They won’t follow a stranger. Instead, they will run away from a stranger because they don’t recognize his voice.” Jesus used this illustration as he talked to the people, but they didn’t understand what he meant.

Jesus emphasized, “I can guarantee this truth: I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before I did were thieves or robbers. However, the sheep didn’t respond to them. I am the gate. Those who enter the sheep pen through me will be saved. They will go in and out of the sheep pen and find food. 10 A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I came so that my sheep will have life and so that they will have everything they need.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand isn’t a shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep. When he sees a wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and quickly runs away. So the wolf drags the sheep away and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand is concerned about what he’s going to get paid and not about the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep as the Father knows me.[a] My sheep know me as I know the Father. 15 So I give my life for my sheep. 16 I also have other sheep that are not from this pen. I must lead them. They, too, will respond to my voice. So they will be one flock with one shepherd. 17 The Father loves me because I give my life in order to take it back again. 18 No one takes my life from me. I give my life of my own free will. I have the authority to give my life, and I have the authority to take my life back again. This is what my Father ordered me to do.”

19 The Jews were divided because of what Jesus said. 20 Many of them said, “He’s possessed by a demon! He’s crazy! Why do you listen to him?” 21 Others said, “No one talks like this if he’s possessed by a demon. Can a demon give sight to the blind?”

The Jews Reject Jesus

22 The Festival of the Dedication of the Temple took place in Jerusalem during the winter. 23 Jesus was walking on Solomon’s porch in the temple courtyard.

24 The Jews surrounded him. They asked him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered them, “I’ve told you, but you don’t believe me. The things that I do in my Father’s name testify on my behalf. 26 However, you don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. 27 My sheep respond to my voice, and I know who they are. They follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life. They will never be lost, and no one will tear them away from me. 29 My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than everyone else, and no one can tear them away from my Father. 30 The Father and I are one.”

31 The Jews had again brought some rocks to stone Jesus to death. 32 Jesus replied to them, “I’ve shown you many good things that come from the Father. For which of these good things do you want to stone me to death?”

33 The Jews answered Jesus, “We’re going to stone you to death, not for any good things you’ve done, but for dishonoring God. You claim to be God, although you’re only a man.”

34 Jesus said to them, “Don’t your Scriptures say, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’? 35 The Scriptures cannot be discredited. So if God calls people gods (and they are the people to whom he gave the Scriptures), 36 why do you say that I’m dishonoring God because I said, ‘I’m the Son of God’? God set me apart for this holy purpose and has sent me into the world. 37 If I’m not doing the things my Father does, don’t believe me. 38 But if I’m doing those things and you refuse to believe me, then at least believe the things that I’m doing. Then you will know and recognize that the Father is in me and that I am in the Father.”

39 The Jews tried to arrest Jesus again, but he got away from them. 40 He went back across the Jordan River and stayed in the place where John first baptized people.

41 Many people went to Jesus. They said, “John didn’t perform any miracles, but everything John said about this man is true.” 42 Many people there believed in Jesus.


  1. 10:14 The first part of verse 15 (in Greek) has been moved to verse 14 to express the complex Greek sentence structure more clearly in English.