Luke 23:34 ” Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.”
Jesus’ prayer for those who betrayed, tortured, persecuted and crucified Him is that they should be forgiven. They should be forgiven because they do not know what they are doing. When the best minds met at the Sanhedrin council and resolved to kill Jesus, they must have thought it very wise. John 11:50 and John 18:14 Caiaphas gives deep wisdom, it’s better for one man to die than the whole nation to perish. Deep wisdom that guided the decision. Jesus said of that deep wisdom, that they did not know what they were doing.
The decision to kill Jesus was a decision of a council of gray hair persons. When Elders gather and converse surely, they cannot be wrong. There is even a saying to the effect that, where there are elders…nothing goes wrong. But Jesus declares their wisdom as misled, for they do not know what they were doing.
The public trusted their leader’s decision to kill Jesus. Individuals in the mass that shouted that Jesus should be crucified, we’re sure that it was a good decision since all were in support. But Jesus said, it was empty of any reasoning and wisdom, they do not know what they are doing! Of all the wisdom and heads that came together to crucify Jesus, none was right according to God, they didn’t know what they were doing. Combination of Jewish best minds among Pharisees and Sadducees should have been applauded as excellent conclusion, but Jesus said they do not know what they are doing. Two judicial systems, Jewish and Roman agreed to crucify Him, judicial officers were trained and experienced, but Jesus said, they do not know what they are doing!
Aren’t we sure many times that our decision is well researched? Aren’t we sure many times that we have consulted widely? Aren’t we sure many times that our perception is the best and cannot be challenged? Aren’t we always very sure that we are right and others are wrong? Aren’t we always sure that our religious leaders and parents and relatives and friends can’t mislead us? We make decisions of which church to join based on wisdom we have. Jesus prayer reveals that, even in our deepest wisdom, we could be wrong and clueless. They do not know what they are doing!
We trust leaders more than God unfortunately. We trust race and tribes mate more than God. We believe rumor mongers . We believer self-centered informers. We base our actions on what we observe in others, but haven’t read their hearts. We make decisions that forever affect people without prayer and soul searching. We declare others enemies and others friendly based on our best assessment. Yet we believe we have taken the best decision. Jesus said, we are clueless and unwise. We do not know what we are doing.
When we get to heaven, and all perspectives of what we thought we knew, is revealed to us, we will agree with Jesus, we didn’t know what we were doing. When we quickly run into conclusions, we do not know what we are doing. When hate and malice drives us, as it did the Jewish people, we do not know what we are doing. When we arrive at any decision or conclusion, remember, it may be devoid of wisdom. Pray for forgiveness and God’s will to prevail, for we do not know what we are doing!
Am glad Jesus asked that they be forgiven. We too should forgive those who hurt us. While their actions seemed deliberate and well thought out, Jesus says, they really didn’t know what they were doing. Has someone offended you deeply or persistently? Has a committee acted against you? Forgive as Jesus did, for they do not know what they did!
May God forgive us for what we have thought, or concluded about Him, His church, His word and His people for where we thought we knew, we actually didn’t. May God help us forgive those who offend us, for they do not know what they are doing. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
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