I’ve been writing some devotionals for our church that are being sent out via email. I’ve affectionately dubbed them “Ronavotionals.” I’ll be sharing some here from time to time. I hope they are an encouragement to you.
“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.’” – Luke 23:34
The more I’ve pondered on this verse, the more I’ve been drawn to the conclusion that this may be one of the most uniquely human statements the God-man ever made.
Have you ever heard Jesus referred to as that? The “God-man?” Jesus was both fully God and fully man. Both of these truths are vitally important to our understanding of who Jesus is. He is the “God-man.” He’s not half God and half man, like a PB&J is half peanut butter and half jelly. He is fully God AND fully man. He is 100% both. And these two natures are not distinct and separate, they are one. Hence why Jesus is referred to as the “God-man.”
Most of the time, we tend to focus on the divine nature of Jesus—the majority of our attention is given to the fact that Jesus was God in the flesh. But understanding the full humanity of Jesus helps us understand and relate to Jesus in ways that understanding His divinity cannot.
Take this verse above as an example. The man Jesus Christ, who grew in understanding like us (Luke 2:52), sympathizes with the sinful ignorance of His kinsmen. This is a plea that arises from a heart that truly understands what it means to lack knowledge (Matthew 24:36), and how that lack of knowledge can sometimes lead to fear, or anger, or, in this case, murderous rage. Yet Jesus is not angry with them for what they are doing to Him, He is compassionate and understanding, because He Himself knows what it’s like to be in such a situation. This is truly a very human statement that Jesus makes, here.
Perhaps during this time of isolation and quarantine, you’ve not only isolated yourself from other people, but also God. Perhaps you’ve not read your Bible like you should, or you’ve not contributed to the spiritual well-being of your family like you ought. Maybe the magnitude of the current situation has so disrupted your routines and your schedule that you’ve fallen out of the rhythms that used to bring you spiritual life. If so, you shouldn’t be afraid to repent and come to Jesus again. He knows what it’s like to have His routine interrupted. In fact, if you survey all of Jesus’ interactions with other people as recorded in the Gospels, you’ll find that the vast majority of them come in the form of interruptions. People were constantly interjecting themselves into Jesus’ life.
Like us now, Jesus knows what it’s like to have a disordered routine. And not just because He’s God and knows everything, but because He is also a man who has experienced the very thing we are going through now. If you’ve blown it, trust that if He can understand the motives of those who unjustly murdered Him and sympathize with them, then He can also sympathize with those of us who have been knocked off our balance by a global pandemic that has taken the whole world by surprise. He’s a good Lord, a good King, and, however strange it may feel to say, a good Man.
Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash