John 10

The story about the shepherd

1 Jesus went on to say, ‘I am telling you what is true. A shepherd keeps his sheep in a safe place with a wall round it. There is a gate into that safe place. Anyone else who gets into that place by another way, not through the gate, is not the shepherd. That person is a robber. He comes to take away the sheep that are not his. 2 The shepherd goes in through the gate. 3 The person who watches the gate opens it for the shepherd. The sheep recognise the shepherd's voice. He calls each of his own sheep by their name and he leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own sheep, he goes in front of them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger. They will run away from a stranger because they do not recognise his voice.’

6 Jesus told them this story like a picture to teach them. But they did not understand what he was saying to them.

Jesus is like the good shepherd

7 So Jesus spoke again. He said, ‘I am telling you what is true. I am like the gate for the sheep. 8 All other men who ever came to the sheep before me were like robbers. But the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am like the gate. Everyone who comes in through me will be safe. They will be free to come in and to go out. And they will find plenty of food. 10 The robber only wants to take away my sheep. He wants to kill them. He comes only to destroy them. But I have come so that they can have true life. And so that they can have everything that they need.

11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd would die so that he can save his sheep. 12 Another man may work with sheep so that he gets money. But the sheep are not his own. A man like that is not the shepherd. If a wolf comes, a man like that runs away. When he sees the wolf, he leaves the sheep and he runs away. Then the wolf attacks the sheep. It causes them to run away in all directions. 13 That man runs away because the sheep are not his own. The sheep do not really matter to him.

14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own sheep, and they know me. 15 I know them in the same way that my Father knows me. And they know me in the same way that I know the Father. I will die so that I can save my sheep. 16 I have other sheep also, and I must bring them too. They do not belong to this group of sheep. But they also will listen to my voice. So, all the sheep will become one group, and they will have one shepherd. 17 The Father loves me because I choose to die for my sheep. But after I give my life like that, I will become alive again. 18 Nobody can take my life from me. Instead, I myself choose to die. I have authority to do that. I also have authority so that I can become alive again. My Father has said that I must do that.’

19 Again, the Jews could not agree about these things that Jesus said. 20 Many of them said, ‘He has a demon in him and he is crazy. You should not listen to him!’ 21 But other people said, ‘A man with a demon in him could not teach like this! A demon could not make blind people able to see!’

The Jewish leaders do not believe in Jesus

22 It was the time for the Jewish Festival called Hanukkah. This happened in Jerusalem. It was winter.

10:22At the Festival called Hanukkah, Israel's people remembered a special time, 165 years before Jesus came to the earth. A foreign ruler had come to Jerusalem. He had put false gods in God's Great House in Jerusalem (the Temple). But some of Israel's people attacked that ruler and they sent him away. Then they made God's Great House clean again so that they could worship the one true God there. At the Hanukkah Festival, the people remembered this.

23 Jesus was walking in the yard of God's Great House, under a place with a roof. The place was called Solomon's porch. 24 The Jewish leaders stood round him. They said to him, ‘We want to know who you are really. When will you tell us? If you are the Messiah, tell us clearly.’ 25 Jesus answered, ‘I have already told you, but you do not believe. The things that I do by my Father's authority show you who I am. 26 But you refuse to believe, because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep recognise my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them life for ever with God. They will never die. Nobody can ever take them away from me. 29 My Father has given them to me. He is greater than all things. Nobody can ever take my sheep out of my Father's hand. 30 My Father and I are one Person.’

31 Then the Jewish leaders picked up stones again to throw at Jesus so that they could kill him. 32 Jesus said to them, ‘I have done many good things. The Father sent me to do them, and I have shown them to you. Which of those good things make you want to kill me with stones?’ 33 The Jewish leaders answered, ‘We do not want to kill you because of any good things that you have done. We want to kill you because you are speaking against God. You are only a man, but you are saying that you are God.’

34 Jesus answered them, ‘It says in your own books of God's Law that God said, “You are gods.” 35 God called the people to whom he spoke “gods”. And you know that the Bible remains always true. 36 So, when I said that I am God's Son, why am I wrong? The Father chose me for himself. And he sent me into the world. So you should not say that I am speaking bad things against God. 37 If I am not doing my Father's work, do not believe me. 38 But if I am doing his work, you should believe that work. Even if you do not believe me, you should believe the things that I do. Then you will know certainly that the Father is in me. And you will know that I am in the Father.’

10:34See Psalm 82:6.

39 Again, the Jewish leaders tried to take hold of Jesus. But he got away from them.

40 After that, Jesus returned across the Jordan river. He went to the place where John had earlier baptized people. Jesus stayed there. 41 Many people came to him. They said to each other, ‘John did not do any miracles. But everything that he said about this man was true.’ 42 And in that place, many people believed in Jesus.