by Darrell M
My Dad was a professional sheepherder, in South Dakota in his youth. And sheepherder, was the wrong definition, shepherd is the correct one. But that was the term used. He laid his life on the line more than once. Me right beside him. I was raised with them. They are extremely intelligent, that is why Jesus uses that analogy. But they will follow a leader right through the gates of hell. Straight to a slaughter house. They do not resist, evil. Coyotes or wolves. Mt.5:39 They turn the other cheek, they are so "Forgiving" when you make a mistake. So many livestock, people try to "push" "herd" sheep. The sheep are confused by that, not stupid. They look for a leader. Open a gate and then step back, out of the way, and 10,000 of them will follow each other. They will knock you down, run over you, if you try to stop them. See yourself in a pen with 1000 sheep, wanting them moved into the other pen? I don't know, maybe you are not familiar, with how exhausting, physical labor is. Would you not be able to see yourself, catching those sheep, one at a time, and throwing it over the fence, into the other pen? And after about 200 of them, STOP, and think, MAN!! There has to be a better way. You cannot just give up. And figure out, there is a gate. That is why Jesus called Himself the "Good Shepherd" He showed us the "Good Conduct". Sheep that will not face you, will not follow. He opened the gate and stepped back. I am the way. Did God not do the same?
"Pulling the wool over your eyes" would have been a term that was understood, when Jesus said, He was the GOOD SHEPHERD. There are breeds of sheep, that their wool will grow over their eyes. "Wool blind" was the term we used. A Good Shepherd, like my Dad carried a large pair of scissors, so when a sheep became blind, he could trim the wool from her eyes. Blind Guides was the term Jesus used. It is a practice today as it was then. There are certain sheep that lead the way to pasture and water, even at the appointed time. A servant the Master would set over his household to give food at the appointed time. (Mt.24:45). Even in a flock of a thousand head, there are leaders. And it was and is, a practice to put a BELL around their neck, and the whole flock will follow that ringing bell. As a church bell is supposed to summon the flock. That is how that practice began. If the Shepherd had to return to camp for a meal, had taken a nap, he could find his sheep, by listening for that bell. Every bell has it's own distinct sound, so he would know his sheep, from others in the area. That is how at times, bands of sheep would get mixed, but they would separate themselves as soon as that leader's bell, started to leave. Yes wolves prey on innocent sheep, but they do not care if they are blind or not, they will eat the calf, right out of the back of a cow, giving birth. And kill as many sheep as they can, just for sport. I have seen pictures of 50-60 dead sheep, 30 more chewed up beyond recovery. The moral of that story is that sheep can blind themselves.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10: 27-30
© 2017 Darrell M
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