“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
There are several interesting aspects of being a parent. Eating dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets for lunch becomes socially acceptable. The moment I no longer hear my children playing is the moment I know they are up to no good. Bodily fluids do not seem to be as gross as I once thought. My favorite part of parenting is the amount of advice that parents give to other parents. There seems to be a mantra to make sure you give a heads up to someone who is about to enter a phase you just survived. I never wanted to be the type of person who gives unsolicited advice to someone about how they should take care of their kids, but the best advice I have ever gotten was to purchase a NoseFrida. Parents of small children should heed this advice. That is the greatest invention since indoor plumbing in my mind. If you by chance, know what it is, you know I am right.
Before I entered the parent game, there was some information, facts, and methods on which I did have a good grasp. There was so much that I knew I did not know as a parent, and there have been other things that I did not even know was on the radar as a parent. I am even going to find out more on the journey of parenthood.
If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?
How often do you think you are right? How often do you admit you are wrong?
All this month we will be looking at the seven sayings spoken by Jesus as He was hanging on a cross. These seven sayings that Jesus uttered on the cross should be read, memorized, and applied to our lives. The fact that Jesus was able to bear the physical torment of a crucifixion enough that He could utter coherent sentences shows amazing power and commitment to what He was doing.
The first statement that Jesus said on the cross was, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
In ten words, Jesus preaches an amazing sermon that is more than capable of leading someone to the redemptive love of God!
Who were the “them” that Jesus is asking the Father to forgive?
How often do you think of yourself roped in with the “them” crowd that Jesus is talking about?
Amazingly, while Jesus hung from the cross, beaten and bleeding, He thought about others. Jesus was still our advocate to God, the Righteous Judge in Heaven, and He cried out to His father, “Forgive them.”
How would you react if someone tried to hurt your child? Do you think it was hard for God to watch the beating, mocking, disrespect, and torture of His son?
I saw an amazing quote on social media the other day (I will be honest it was on my wife’s Pinterest). It read, “Jesus looks at the cross and then at you. ‘You are worth it,’ He says.” I love that we have a God that loves us so much that He died the worst death imaginable. However, as I study this verse, I run into a major issue. The hardest part of the Luke 23:34 verse is the immediate context of who Jesus was talking about as “them” would have been the religious leaders. Those are the ones who would have claimed to “know God,” “worship God,” and “live for God.” Yet, they were the ones who crucified Christ.
Why do you think the Pharisees wanted to crucify Jesus so badly?
How is it possible for someone to claim to know God, and yet reject God?
Isaiah 29:13 says, “And the Lord said: ‘Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men.’”
What does it look like to honor God with your lips and have your heart far from Him?
How can that produce spiritual blindness?
Recently, my oldest son has begun to want to do everything for himself. His independent phase is starting, and I love it. I love that he wants to learn how to do new things. Constantly I have to remind myself not to get frustrated with him because of his inability to do something. I tell Broly constantly, “I know you are a big boy, but ask for help if you need it.”
One night I wanted to do something nice for my boys, so I stopped at a store and bought some chocolate milk. The next day, Broly wanted a cup, so he got a chair, pushed it to the cupboard where we keep his cups, and grabbed his favorite Spider-Man cup. He got down, opened the refrigerator, and pulled out the almost full gallon of milk. Every parent reading this knows where I am going with this story. While Broly was attempting to pour his cup, he lost control of holding the gallon of milk. While pouring it, the entire gallon fell to the ground. I heard the thud and went to check on my son. When my son made eye contact with me, he was terrified. He knew he was in trouble for making a big mess and wasting an entire gallon of milk. Was I frustrated? Yes. Did I give him a stern lecture for making a bad choice by not asking for help? Yes. However, I still looked at my son, despite making a mistake, with love.
When someone wrongs you, how do you treat that person?
Why is it so hard to forgive people?
Have you ever assumed the intent of a person? Why do we do that?
While Jesus hung on the cross, His dying request was not to have exact vengeance or to be let off the cross. His request was that His Father forgives those involved in His death.
How do you forgive people?
How can you show that kind of love to someone who has wronged you?
Somehow Jesus was able to still look at those beating Him and ask God the Father to forgive them. That kind of love comes only from Jesus. That kind of love should be seen in His followers and His Church.
How can we love like that?