1 "Truly, truly, I tell you, the person who does not enter the sheep corral through the gate, but climbs over another way [i.e., over the fence], is a thief and a robber. [Note: "Thief" suggests quiet subtlety, while "robber" suggests open aggression]. 2 But the One [i.e., Jesus is referring to Himself] who enters [it] through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep [Note: "Sheep" in this section refers to Jesus' followers]. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep respond to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out [of the corral]. 4 After he has let his own [sheep] out, he walks on ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but will run from him, for they do not recognize the voice of strangers."
6 Jesus told them this parable [i.e., a brief story to illustrate his teaching] but they did not understand what it meant.
7 So, Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep [i.e., to enter the corral]. 8 All those who came before me were thieves and robbers and the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate; if anyone enters [the corral] through me, he will be saved [i.e., from condemnation], and will find pasture [i.e., will receive spiritual nurturing]. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that people could have life to its fullest.
11 "I am the good shepherd; and a good shepherd [is willing] to die for the sheep. 12 The person who is [only] a hired hand, and not the shepherd, [and] who does not own the sheep [himself], sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away. So, the wolf attacks the flock and scatters [the sheep]. 13 [The reason] he runs away is because he is a hired hand and does not [really] care about the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd and I know my sheep [intimately], and they know me [that way], 15 just like the Father knows me [intimately] and I know the Father [that way]. And I [am about to] give up my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep [also] which are not [presently] in this corral; I must lead them, too. They will hear my voice and become one flock [i.e., with the others], having one shepherd. [Note: This probably refers to believing Gentiles becoming God's people, along with the Jews]. 17 The Father loves me because I [am about to] give up my life, so that I can take it back again. 18 No one is taking it away from me, but I am giving it up voluntarily. I have the right to give it up and I have the right to take it back again. I received the commandment to do this from my Father."
19 The Jews who heard these words became divided again [i.e., over their meaning]. 20 Many of them said, "This man is dominated by an evil spirit; he is crazy, why listen to him?" 21 Others said, "These are not the words of someone dominated by an evil spirit. Can an evil spirit restore sight to a blind person?"
22 During the winter, when the Festival of Dedication was being held in Jerusalem [Note: This was the Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Temple in BC after its pagan desecration by Greeks. It is still observed today by Jews as "Hanukkah."], 23 Jesus was walking in the Temple [area] in "Solomon's Portico" [Note: This was a large covered area, with rows of columns, on the outside of the Temple enclosure]. 24 Some Jewish [authorities] gathered around Him and asked, "How long will you hold us in suspense? If you [really] are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25 Jesus answered them, "I did tell you, but you would not believe me. The [miraculous] deeds that I am doing in my Father's name [i.e., by the Father's authority] testify about me. 26 But you do not believe me, because you are not [part] of my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them never ending life and they will never be destroyed, and no one will [be able to] steal them out of my hand. 29 What my Father has given me [i.e., my sheep] are greater than everything [else], and no one is able to steal them from the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one."
31 Then the Jews again picked up stones [intending] to stone Him.
32 Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many good deeds [i.e., miracles], performed through the Father. Which one of them are you stoning me for?"
33 The Jews answered Him, "We are not stoning you for a good deed, but for your abusive speech [i.e., about God], and because you are claiming to be God, even though you are [only] a man."
34 Jesus replied to them, "Is it not written in your law [Psa. 82:6], 'I said, you people are gods'? 35 If God called those people, to whom His message came, "gods" (and Scripture cannot be set aside), 36 how can you people say to Him, whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, 'You are speaking abusively [i.e., about God],' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? He is the One whom the Father set apart [i.e., for His service] and sent into the world. 37 If I am not doing my Father's deeds [i.e., miracles], do not believe me. 38 But if I am doing them, even though you do not believe me, believe the deeds. Then you will know and continue to know that the Father is in me, and that I am in the Father." 39 [Then] the Jews again tried to arrest Him, but He escaped from their hands.
40 Then Jesus again went across [to the east side of] the Jordan River, to the place where John had first immersed people, and stayed there. 41 Many people came to Him and were saying, "It is true that John did not perform any [miraculous] signs, but everything he said about this man was true." 42 So, many people there believed in Jesus.