The Shofar: The Shepherd's Voice

Written by Dango

I have been in “missions” since 1994 and I have been traveling to a fair amount of countries, tribes and remote areas.  I have seen a lot and I have experienced quite a bit in my simple life.  But never have I had a moment like the following.  It lasted only 5 seconds but it left a profound imprint on my heart and mind.  It is with trepidation that I put a trembling hand to paper.
If I close my eyes I can still see it and the surrounding area crystal clear with the emotion that accompanied it.  It might be a “simple” moment for most but for me it struck right to the center of my heart and core of my life of who and what I am.  To be honest, the actual moment of 5 seconds actually defines everyone who declares and believes that Jesus Christ is the crucified Lord and that He rose from the dead.  For some reason I could never get rid nor forget the 5 second moment as I ponder over it for the last 25 years. To this day it still guides me as the Lord reminds me time and time again of the 5 second moment.  This is my first humble attempt to put “something of my life” on paper. I asked the Lord what I should write about, not surprisingly, the reply was “the 5 second moment”.
Many moons ago, I lived for 6 days in a cave in the South-West of Iran with two Bakhtiari families.  This tribe is a very ancient Persian tribe and they live with their sheep in caves as they are a nomadic people.  Coming down the massive mountain range after 6 days, a driver and myself left the area in a small vehicle.  As we approached the nearest small town, we slowly came around a corner that was bending to the left.  On my right by the side of the gravel road, I saw a Bakhtiari shepherd with a sheep behind him walking towards the town.  The only attachment between the shepherd’s hand and the sheep was a very thin rope around the sheep’s neck.  Two elements of the moment struck me. The first was that the rope was hanging loose and was swinging from left to right.  The second was that the sheep was only looking at the shepherd and following him with an eagerness and willingness not looking left or right.  I knew that the shepherd was going to sell the sheep in the town.  He would then be able to buy his family’s monthly supplies before returning up the mountain to tend the rest of his flock.
What struck me was the fact that the sheep trusted the shepherd completely and all it’s focus was on the man in front of him and to follow him relentlessly.  Obviously it knew the shepherd and it knew that wherever it was being lead to;  it would follow and that’s all that mattered.  Understand that this sheep did not have the benefit of feeling safe as it was alone as no other sheep was with it.  What was also profoundly significant was the fact that the shepherd knew this specific sheep.  He knew this sheep as he would know one of his children (I will talk about this in a later Shofar edition) and he knew that the sheep will follow him obediently.  The only physical connection between the sheep and the shepherd was the thin piece of rope that was hanging loose between the two of them.  It was as if the shepherd and his sheep were walking in complete confidence and unity as if they were meant to be in perfect harmony.
Take note the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep is not based on the fact that the sheep is clever or smart.  It’s purely based on the fact that each one of them understood their place or their role.  Also because the sheep knew his shepherd and fully trusts him in all situations and conditions.  The shepherd is the one that knows what’s best for the sheep, the sheep was not leading the shepherd.
John 10: 14   "I am the Good Shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me."
The quoted Scripture was playing out in front of my very eyes in that significant 5 second moment of my life.  Understand that if Jesus say “I know my own”, He is talking to those that belong to Him.  When Jesus is saying “My own know Me”, He is referring to those that have a deep personal relationship with Him.
I am of the opinion that in this day and age, it is not an easy thing to say or do to know someone and to have complete trust in a person.
If we truly know and come to the understand who the Lord Jesus Christ is, and above all, who He wants to be for each one of us;  we will truly follow Him blindly.  We will not look left or right in all situations and irrespective of what He calls us to do.  The relevant verse does not refer to a relationship that can be measured on a scale of 0 to 100.  Jesus is making a very profound statement and He is saying that when I have a relationship with you it is always 100% from my side.
In the end, it is not about the sheep, but it’s all about the GOOD SHEPHERD the LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Shalom and Grace
Dango