ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 430


“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the
sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon
the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd.
And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs
away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care
about the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,
just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life
for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must
bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock
with one shepherd.
“The Father loves me because I sacrifice my life so I may take it back
again. No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have
the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For
this is what my Father has commanded.”
When he said these things, the people were again divided in their opinions about him. Some said, “He’s demon possessed and out of his mind.
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?”
It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah, the
Festival of Dedication. He was in the Temple, walking through the section
known as Solomon’s Colonnade. The people surrounded him and asked,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah,
tell us plainly.”
Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The
proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them,
and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No
one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me,
and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from
the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
Once again the people picked up stones to kill him. Jesus said, “At my
Father’s direction I have done many good works. For which one are you
going to stone me?”
They replied, “We’re stoning you not for any good work, but for blasphemy! You, a mere man, claim to be God.”
Jesus replied, “It is written in your own Scriptures that God said to
certain leaders of the people, ‘I say, you are gods!’ And you know that
the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people who received God’s

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