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Chapter 10

The Good Shepherd. [a]“Amen, amen, I say to you,(A) whoever does not enter a sheepfold[b] through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. [c]When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,(B) because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” Although Jesus used this figure of speech,[d] they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

[e]So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. [f]All who came [before me] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.(C) 12 A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them.(D) 13 This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.(E) 16 I have other sheep[g] that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd.(F)

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Footnotes

  1. 10:1–21 The good shepherd discourse continues the theme of attack on the Pharisees that ends Jn 9. The figure is allegorical: the hired hands are the Pharisees who excommunicated the cured blind man. It serves as a commentary on Jn 9. For the shepherd motif, used of Yahweh in the Old Testament, cf. Ex 34; Gn 48:15; 49:24; Mi 7:14; Ps 23:1–4; 80:1.
  2. 10:1 Sheepfold: a low stone wall open to the sky.
  3. 10:4 Recognize his voice: the Pharisees do not recognize Jesus, but the people of God, symbolized by the blind man, do.
  4. 10:6 Figure of speech: John uses a different word for illustrative speech than the “parable” of the synoptics, but the idea is similar.
  5. 10:7–10 In Jn 10:7–8, the figure is of a gate for the shepherd to come to the sheep; in Jn 10:9–10, the figure is of a gate for the sheep to come in and go out.
  6. 10:8 [Before me]: these words are omitted in many good early manuscripts and versions.
  7. 10:16 Other sheep: the Gentiles, possibly a reference to “God’s dispersed children” of Jn 11:52 destined to be gathered into one, or “apostolic Christians” at odds with the community of the beloved disciple.

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