The Shepherd and the Flock
1"What I'm about to tell you is true. What if someone does not enter the sheep pen through the gate but climbs in another way? That person is a thief and a robber. 2The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for him. The sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought all of his own sheep out, he goes on ahead of them. His sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger. In fact, they will run away from him. They don't recognize a stranger's voice."
6Jesus used this story. But the Jews who were there didn't understand what he was telling them.
7So Jesus said again, "What I'm about to tell you is true. I am like a gate for the sheep. 8All those who ever came before me were thieves and robbers. But the sheep did not listen to them. 9I'm like a gate. Anyone who enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out. And he will find plenty of food. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so they can have life. I want them to have it in the fullest possible way.
11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12The hired man is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when the hired man sees the wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13The man runs away because he is a hired man. He does not care about the sheep.
14"I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and my sheep know me. 15They know me just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I give my life for the sheep.
16"I have other sheep that do not belong to this sheep pen. I must bring them in too. They also will listen to my voice. Then there will be one flock and one shepherd.
17"The reason my Father loves me is that I give up my life. But I will take it back again. 18No one takes it from me. I give it up myself. I have the authority to give it up. And I have the authority to take it back again. I received this command from my Father."
New International Readers Version (NIrV)