If you know me personally, you’d be surprised that I am even entertaining the topic of “Haters.” I am known by my friends for despising this entire discussion. I think people have a lot less haters than they think, and I also think people cheat themselves out of meaningful relationships because they are fearful of , or assume people are “hating.” Yet, as I read and wrote tonight’s Scripture passage, found in Luke 23: 33-38, I was inspired to dedicate this one discussion to the “Haters”, after all, they do exist, and I’ve never argued that.
In the text, we find Jesus being Crucified. In the midst of being tortured and mocked, He isn’t feeling sorry for Himself, and He is not angry at the people who are responsible for His Crucifixion . Instead, He concerns Himself with their well-being. And instead of cursing them, He prays,
Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing (Luke 23:34).
Let’s step back a moment, and really think about this situation, Jesus is INNOCENT! All 33 years of His life, He has brought complete glory and pleasure to His Heavenly Father. He has lived a Perfect , purpose-filled life. He hasn’t been mostly obedient, He has been ONLY obedient. And here He is dying the most brutal, unjust, and unimaginable death. I would imagine He could use this moment to complain about how unfair this is. He could bring up all the good that He has done, listing out His accomplishments one by one. But Jesus is faithful to His Purpose at all times. In this moment, He demonstrates a level of humility and love that is foreign! He decides to show this merciless bunch of people ABUNDANT MERCY!! He intercedes on their behalf, asking the Father to consider their ignorance, and offer them gracious forgiveness, instead of judgment!
How many times have you prayed for your Haters? How often have you asked God to look beyond their ignorance, and bless them? How many times have you prayed success over someone who wanted nothing more than for YOU to fail? When is the last time you asked God to protect, and even save your enemies? I am going to take a chance here by saying that, like me, your answers would range from not often to never! But yet Jesus modeled exactly what we should do when we encounter haters. He showed us the approach we should take when we are treated unjustly.
Tonight, I realized that Jesus could do this because He knew that God’s plan for His life was good. Even here, in the midst of the worse moment in His life, He knew His victory was STILL inevitable. Regardless of how it looked, He knew that nobody could shut down the Favor of God on His life. He was confident that what God had promised Him was true – He would be crucified, but He would be raised from the dead, and He would be seated at the right hand of the Father – Therefore, He knew that even these people were apart of God’s plan. So instead of trying to prove any thing to them when they sarcastically told Him to save Himself, He chose to pray for them. He knew His destiny was certain, He wanted them to have a shot at redemption!
Tonight, even though I have read these verses countless times, I felt God calling us up to a higher level of maturity. Calling us not to focus on our haters, but to pray for them. When we are confident about God has said about us, we won’t allow people who don’t have a say to distract us. When we focus on haters, we become distracted and our purpose is delayed. I hope that we will remember Jesus’ example because He was modeling an expectation that He had already set for those who would follow Him,
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use and persecute you (Matthew 5:44).
Thank you for sending Jesus to demonstrate to us how to live a life that is pleasing to You. We thank you for maturity. We thank you that we can be totally confident in Your Goodness toward us. Therefore, we will not allow people to distract us from the path that you have set forth for our lives. We will trust that Your Favor is final, and that it cannot be disrupted or removed by anyone. Help us to “Love [our], enemies, bless them that curse [us], do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them, which spitefully use and persecute [us]” For we know this is pleasing in your sight.
In Jesus’ Name,
Until Next time,
Keep your hope LIVING,
Sincerely Delanea D.
I would like to invite you to join this journey of Scripture Writing for this month. I’d love to support you on your journey. If you’re joining, let me know. Here is the plan I am following,