Father, forgive _______, they don’t know what they’re doing.

A mob doesn’t start out as a mob. It is rarely a cohesive unit, even though the majority take their cues from a small core group. A mob continues the chants and rants started by the instigators. That is what Jesus faced on His crucifixion day.

He had had no sleep. He had been ridiculed, mocked, denounced, lied about, and taunted all night long. As he stood before Pilate, the chants began.

The bloodlust was set free. They wanted Him dead.

This mob was made up of many of the same people who had just days before lauded Him, waving palm branches. They were those who had seen Him touch the blind making them see, the lame making them walk, the deaf making them hear. Yet they chanted. They yelled. They shook their raised fists.

Jesus saw their hearts. He knew that many of them joined the crowd because it was “the” thing to do. He knew they were merely tools of the enemy who wanted to stop redemption’s plan.

And so He uttered the words, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”

How many times do we get caught up in a mob? How often do we join the rant over our nation first, a ‘right’, or a perceived wrong without counting the cost of doing so?
May we receive the same grace and mercy that Jesus offered in His prayer for the mob He faced that day.

Mind you, I’m not saying we should never stand with others against atrocities. I’m saying we must count the cost and seek God’s will in the matter before we raise our fist, kneel, or start yelling. God over instigators, every time.

Maybe the next time we feel the anger rising in us as we hear the words of others, we need to turn off the speaker and tune in the Savior. May we avoid the need for Jesus to ask the Father to forgive us our mindless pursuit of something other than Him.

It is easy to get caught up in a mob. You can you join in because you feel like it’s the right thing to do, it’s on the right side of justice, or you’re afraid of those around you and so you go along to get along. Neither is a good idea. If you haven’t run it by God, it’s not a good idea.

Let me warn you. It’s not a good idea to go with it because somebody else tells you they’ve run it by God. Run it by Him yourself. Every single one of us is responsible for our own decisions, our own choices, whether we have chosen God or something else.

Jesus was so kind and because He was God even as He was man, He could see into the hearts of those who had waved to the palm branches–they were going with the crowd and now they were yelling, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” They were going with the crowd. And we need to be careful of that. We need to be careful with that. God gave us minds with which to reason, to think, to consider and we need to use those that way. Perhaps we can be the ones who lead, whether it’s with our own protest or our advocacy for an issue, or the joining with others… follow Jesus. That’s all I’m saying, follow Him.

Let’s live our lives in such a way that we don’t need him to say, Father, forgive them. What a way of life that would be!

Coffee, Bible, Journal.

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Faye Bryant

Faye Bryant is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals escape the lies of the enemy, live into God’s truth, and build a better life by first feeling, dealing, and healing their way through a stuck future or an abused past, toward a deeper path of purpose, and into the unhackable life of their chosen legacy. Hers is a story of resurrection: from death to life!