Parable of the Good Shepherd
1 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way (elsewhere, from some other quarter) is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The watchman opens the door for this man, and the sheep listen to his voice and heed it; and he calls his own sheep by name and brings (leads) them out. 4 When he has brought his own sheep outside, he walks on before them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will never [on any account] follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not know the voice of strangers or recognize their call. 6 Jesus used this parable (illustration) with them, but they did not understand what He was talking about.
7 So Jesus said again, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that I Myself am the Door for the sheep. 8 All others who came [as such] before Me are thieves and robbers, but the [true] sheep did not listen to and obey them. 9 I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture. 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 I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep. 12 But the hired servant (he 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 chases and snatches them and scatters [the flock]. 13 Now the hireling flees because he merely serves for wages and is not himself concerned about the sheep [cares nothing for them]. 14 I am the Good Shepherd; and I know and recognize My own, and My own know and recognize Me -- " 15 Even as [truly as] the Father knows Me and I also know the Father -- "and I am giving My [very own] life and laying it down on behalf of the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep [beside these] that are not of this fold. I must bring and impel those also; and they will listen to My voice and heed My call, and so there will be [they will become] one flock under one Shepherd. 17 For this [reason] the Father loves Me, because I lay down My [own] life -- "to take it back again. 18 No one takes it away from Me. On the contrary, I lay it down voluntarily. [I put it from Myself.] I am authorized and have power to lay it down (to resign it) and I am authorized and have power to take it back again. These are the instructions (orders) which I have received [as My charge] from My Father.
19 Then a fresh division of opinion arose among the Jews because of His saying these things. 20 And many of them said, He has a demon and He is mad (insane -- "He raves, He rambles). Why do you listen to Him? 21 Others argued, These are not the thoughts and the language of one possessed. Can a demon-possessed person open blind eyes?
Jesus Asserts His Deity
22 After this the Feast of Dedication [of the reconsecration of the temple] was taking place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 And Jesus was walking in Solomon's Porch in the temple area. 24 So the Jews surrounded Him and began asking Him, How long are You going to keep us in doubt and suspense? If You are really the Christ (the Messiah), tell us so plainly and openly. 25 Jesus answered them, I have told you so, yet you do not believe Me [you do not trust Me and rely on Me]. The very works that I do by the power of My Father and in My Father's name bear witness concerning Me [they are My credentials and evidence in support of Me]. 26 But you do not believe and trust and rely on Me because you do not belong to My fold [you are no sheep of Mine]. 27 The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all [else]; and no one is able to snatch [them] out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are One.
31 Again the Jews brought up stones to stone Him. 32 Jesus said to them, My Father has enabled Me to do many good deeds. [I have shown many acts of mercy in your presence.] For which of these do you mean to stone Me? 33 The Jews replied, We are not going to stone You for a good act, but for blasphemy, because You, a mere Man, make Yourself [out to be] God. 34 Jesus answered, Is it not written in your Law, I said, You are gods? 35 So men are called gods [by the Law], men to whom God's message came -- "and the Scripture cannot be set aside or cancelled or broken or annulled -- " 36 [If that is true] do you say of the One Whom the Father consecrated and dedicated and set apart for Himself and sent into the world, You are blaspheming, because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I am not doing the works [performing the deeds] of My Father, then do not believe Me [do not adhere to Me and trust Me and rely on Me]. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe Me or have faith in Me, [at least] believe the works and have faith in what I do, in order that you may know and understand [clearly] that the Father is in Me, and I am in the Father [One with Him]. 39 They sought again to arrest Him, but He escaped from their hands.
40 He went back again across the Jordan to the locality where John was when he first baptized, and there He remained. 41 And many came to Him, and they kept saying, John did not perform a [single] sign or miracle, but everything John said about this Man was true. 42 And many [people] there became believers in Him. [They adhered to and trusted in and relied on Him.]