out of their mind?
“Coming to his senses at last…” —Luke 15:17
Jesus mentions that the prodigal son came “to his senses at last” when his situation reached its lowest point. Jesus also forgave His persecutors from the cross, saying “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34). Through these two passages, Jesus is teaching us that it is quite possible that those who trespass against us might not be in their right mind.
Jesus pleads with His heavenly Father to forgive His tormentors because of this very reason. He sees the best in each person and asks the Father (and us) to do the same. “It is [our] glory to overlook an offense” (Prv 19:11; see also Sir 28:7).
Do we assume that the person who hurt us knew exactly what they were doing and were perfectly right-minded? Can we be like Jesus and beg the Father to forgive them because they may not have yet come to their senses? Can we overlook their offense and excuse them as not knowing what they are doing?
Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate (Lk 6:36). Delight in clemency and imploring mercy on those who hurt you.
Prayer: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34).
Promise: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is His kindness toward those who fear Him.” —Ps 103:11
Praise: John and Bill, brothers in Christ, spend two weekends each month ministering to prisoners.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.) (For a related teaching on Developing A Deep Personal Relationship with Jesus, order, listen to, or download our CD 52-1 or DVD 52 on our website.)
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