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The Shepherd and His Sheep

1Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. When a man enters the sheep pen, he should use the gate. If he climbs in some other way, then he is a robber. He is trying to steal the sheep.

2But the man that takes care of the sheep enters through the gate. He is the shepherd.

3The man that guards the gate opens the gate for the shepherd. And the sheep listen to the voice of the shepherd. The shepherd calls his own sheep, using their names, and he leads them out.

4The shepherd brings all of his sheep out. Then he goes ahead of them and leads them. The sheep follow him because they know his voice.

5But sheep will never follow a person they don’t know. They will run away from that person, because they don’t know his voice.”

6Jesus told the people this story. But the people did not understand what the story meant.

Jesus Is the Good Shepherd

7So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth. I am the gate for the sheep.

8All the people that came before I came were thieves and robbers. The sheep did not listen to them.

9I am the gate. The person that enters through me will be saved. That person will be able to come in and go out. He will find everything he needs.

10A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I came to give life—life that is full and good.

11“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.

12The worker that is paid to keep the sheep is different from the shepherd. The paid worker does not own the sheep. So when the worker sees a wolf coming, he runs away and leaves the sheep alone. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them.

13The man runs away because he is only a paid worker. He does not really care for the sheep.

14“I am the shepherd that cares for the sheep (people). I know my sheep like the Father knows me. And my sheep know me like I know the Father. I give my life for these sheep.


16I have other sheep too. They are not in this flock here. I must lead them also. They will listen to my voice. In the future there will be one flock and one shepherd.

17The Father loves me because I give my life. I give my life so that I can get it back again.

18No person takes my life away from me. I give my own life freely. I have the right to give my life. And I have the right to get it back again. This is what the Father told me.”

19Again the Jews did not agree with each other because of these things Jesus said.

20Many of these Jews said, “A demon has come into him and made him crazy. Why listen to him?”

21But other Jews said, “These things we are hearing are not coming from someone that is crazy with a demon. Can a demon heal the eyes of blind people? No!”

The Jewish Leaders Against Jesus

22It was winter, and the time came for the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem.

23Jesus was in the temple area at Solomon’s Porch.

24The Jewish leaders gathered around Jesus. They said, “How long will you make us wonder about you? If you are the Christ, then tell us clearly.”

25Jesus answered, “I told you already, but you did not believe. I do miracles in my Father’s name. Those miracles show who I am.

26But you don’t believe. Why? Because you are not my sheep (people).

27My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me.

28I give my sheep eternal life. They will never die. And no person can take them out of my hand.

29My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all. No person can steal my sheep out of my Father’s hand.

30The Father and I are one.”

31Again the Jews there picked up rocks to kill Jesus.

32But Jesus said to them, “I have done many good things from the Father. You have seen those things. Which of those good things are you killing me for?”

33The Jews answered, “We are not killing you for any good thing you did. But you say things that are against God. You are only a man, but you say you are the same as God! That is why we are trying to kill you with rocks!”

34Jesus answered, “It is written in your law, ‘I (God) said you are gods.’

35This Scripture called those people gods—the people that received God’s message. And Scripture is always true.

36So why do you say that I am saying things that are against God because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? I am the one God chose and sent into the world.

37If I don’t do what my Father does, then don’t believe what I say.

38But if I do the same things my Father does, then you should believe in the things I do. You might not believe in me, but you should believe in the things I do. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

39The Jewish leaders tried to get Jesus again. But Jesus escaped from them.

40Then Jesus went back across the Jordan River. Jesus went to the place where John was baptizing before. Jesus stayed there,

41and many people came to him. The people said, “John never did a miracle. But everything John said about this man (Jesus) is true.”

42And many people there believed in Jesus.

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