"I can guarantee this truth: The person who doesn't enter the sheep pen through the gate but climbs in somewhere else is a thief or a robber.
But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd.
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep respond to his voice. He calls his sheep by name and leads them out of the pen.
After he has brought out all his sheep, he walks ahead of them. The sheep follow him because they recognize his voice.
They won't follow a stranger. Instead, they will run away from a stranger because they don't recognize his voice."
Jesus used this illustration as he talked to the people, but they didn't understand what he meant.
Jesus emphasized, "I can guarantee this truth: I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before I did were thieves or robbers. However, the sheep didn't respond to them.
I am the gate. Those who enter the sheep pen through me will be saved. They will go in and out of the sheep pen and find food.
A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I came so that my sheep will have life and so that they will have everything they need.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.
A hired hand isn't a shepherd and doesn't own the sheep. When he sees a wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and quickly runs away. So the wolf drags the sheep away and scatters the flock.
The hired hand is concerned about what he's going to get paid and not about the sheep.
"I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep as the Father knows me. My sheep know me as I know the Father.
So I give my life for my sheep.
I also have other sheep that are not from this pen. I must lead them. They, too, will respond to my voice. So they will be one flock with one shepherd.
The Father loves me because I give my life in order to take it back again.
No one takes my life from me. I give my life of my own free will. I have the authority to give my life, and I have the authority to take my life back again. This is what my Father ordered me to do."
The Jews were divided because of what Jesus said.
Many of them said, "He's possessed by a demon! He's crazy! Why do you listen to him?"
Others said, "No one talks like this if he's possessed by a demon. Can a demon give sight to the blind?"