The Ideal Shepherd

1 “I assure you: Anyone who doesn’t enter the sheep pen by the door but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber.(A) 2 The one who enters by the door is the shepherd(B) of the sheep.(C) 3 The doorkeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought all his own outside, he goes ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. 5 They will never follow a stranger; instead they will run away from him, because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.”
6 Jesus gave them this illustration, but they did not understand(D) what He was telling them.

The Good Shepherd

7 So Jesus said again, “I assure you: I am(E) the door of the sheep.(F) 8 All who came before Me(a) are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal(G) and to kill and to destroy.(H) I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
11 “I am the good shepherd.(I) The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.(J) 12 The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and doesn’t own the sheep, leaves them(b) and runs away when he sees a wolf(K) coming. The wolf then snatches and scatters them. 13 This happens because he is a hired man and doesn’t care about the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd. I know My own sheep, and they know Me, 15 as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father.(L) I lay down My life(M) for the sheep. 16 But I have other sheep(N) that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock, one shepherd.(O) 17 This is why the Father loves Me,(P) because I am laying down My life(Q) so I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own. I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again. I have received this command from My Father.”(R)
19 Again a division(S) took place among the Jews because of these words. 20 Many of them were saying, “He has a demon(T) and He’s crazy! Why do you listen to Him?” 21 Others were saying, “These aren’t the words of someone demon-possessed. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”(U)

Jesus at the Festival of Dedication

22 Then the Festival of Dedication(c) took place in Jerusalem, and it was winter. 23 Jesus was walking in the temple complex in Solomon’s Colonnade.(d)(V) 24 Then the Jews surrounded Him and asked, “How long are You going to keep us in suspense?(e) If You are the Messiah,(W) tell us plainly.”(f)(X)
25 “I did tell you and you don’t believe,” Jesus answered them. “The works(Y) that I do in My Father’s name testify about Me. 26 But you don’t believe because you are not My sheep.(g)(Z) 27 My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. 28 I give them eternal life,(AA) and they will never perish(AB)—ever! No one will snatch(AC) them out of My hand. 29 My Father,(AD) who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”(h)(AE)

Renewed Efforts to Stone Jesus

31 Again the Jews picked up rocks to stone Him.(AF)
32 Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works(AG) from the Father. Which of these works are you stoning Me for?”
33 “We aren’t stoning(AH) You for a good work,” the Jews answered, “but for blasphemy, because You—being a man—make Yourself God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Isn’t it written in your scripture,(i) I said, you are gods?(AI)(j) 35 If He called those whom the word(AJ) of God came to ‘gods’—and the Scripture(AK) cannot be broken— 36 do you say, ‘You are blaspheming’ to the One the Father set apart and sent into the world, because I said: I am the Son of God?(AL) 37 If I am not doing My Father’s works,(AM) don’t believe Me. 38 But if I am doing them and you don’t believe Me, believe the works. This way you will know and understand(k) that the Father is in Me and I in the Father.”(AN) 39 Then they were trying again to seize Him,(AO) yet He eluded their grasp.(AP)

Many beyond the Jordan Believe in Jesus

40 So He departed again across the Jordan(AQ) to the place where John(AR) had been baptizing earlier, and He remained there. 41 Many came to Him(AS) and said, “John never did a sign, but everything John said about this man was true.” 42 And many believed in Him there.


a. John 10:8: Other mss omit before Me
b. John 10:12: Lit leaves the sheep
c. John 10:22: Or Hanukkah, also called the Feast of Lights; this festival commemorated the rededication of the temple in 164 b.c.
d. John 10:23: Rows of columns supporting a roof
e. John 10:24: Lit How long are you taking away our life?
f. John 10:24: Or openly, or publicly
g. John 10:26: Other mss add just as I told you
h. John 10:30: Lit I and the Father—We are one.
i. John 10:34: Other mss read in the scripture
k. John 10:38: Other mss read know and believe

Cross references:

Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.