Jesus Prays for His Persecutors
Even amid the turmoil and pain of the crucifixion, Jesus still demonstrated the importance of prayer. As His tormentors taunt Him and gamble for His clothes, Jesus speaks a prayer for their forgiveness:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
This illustrated Jesus’ teaching about dealing with our enemies. He clearly told us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). In the end, He demonstrated that these weren’t merely empty words. He would pray for His enemies when He was at His most vulnerable – and His death would ensure a path for His enemies to be reconciled once and for all. The Bible teaches us that we are all “enemies” of God before we accept Him as Lord and Savior.
How do you react when you are mistreated, do you pray? Let’s follow Jesus in all we do and say!
“YOU HAVE HEARD THAT IT WAS SAID, LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AND HATE YOUR ENEMY. BUT I TELL YOU, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES AND PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU, SO THAT YOU MAY BE SONS OF YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. FOR HE CAUSES THE SUN TO RISE ON THE EVIL AND THE GOOD, AND SENDS RAIN ON THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE UNRIGHTEOUS. FOR IF YOU LOVE THOSE WHO LOVE YOU, WHAT REWARD WILL YOU HAVE? DON’T EVEN THE TAX COLLECTORS DO THE SAME? AND IF YOU GREET ONLY YOUR BROTHERS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT OF THE ORDINARY? DON’T EVEN THE GENTILES DO THE SAME? BE PERFECT, THEREFORE, AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT.”