1"I assure you, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2For a shepherd enters through the gate. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. 5They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't recognize his voice."6
Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn't understand what he meant,
so he explained it to them. "I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep," he said.
8"All others who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures. 10The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness."
11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will leave the sheep because they aren't his and he isn't their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13The hired hand runs away because he is merely hired and has no real concern for the sheep."
14"I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice; and there will be one flock with one shepherd."
17"The Father loves me because I lay down my life that I may have it back again. 18No one can take my life from me. I lay down my life voluntarily. For I have the right to lay it down when I want to and also the power to take it again. For my Father has given me this command."19
When he said these things, the people a were again divided in their opinions about him.
Some of them said, "He has a demon, or he's crazy. Why listen to a man like that?"
Others said, "This doesn't sound like a man possessed by a demon! Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)