Are the Ignorant Beaten or Forgiven?

Supposed contradiction and verses:


In one verse Jesus says those who donít know will be beaten, yet while on the cross He asks for those who donít know to be forgiven.


Those who donít know are beaten with few stripes:

Luke 12:47-48

47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.


Forgive those that donít know:

Luke 23:34

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.




   Jesus is teaching through a parable, which He often did, in a way that was reflective, and could demonstrate Godís will and expectations for us. Here, a Master is judging his servants based on what they have done. This parable is actually teaching us as the Church that God expects us to do His will and His work He has set out for us while we are on this Earth. In this case, in the parable, the Master passes judgment on all his servants. Some knew the masterís will yet chose not to do it. These were those who were given much. Because of this larger responsibility, and knowing what they should have done, they get a severe punishment because they knew better yet chose not to. On the other hand, there are some that donít know the masterís will, and they commit punishable acts as well. These servants are punished still, yet, not to as high of a degree. Does that seem unfair? No, and is exactly why Jesus tells this parable. Claiming ignorance is not an excuse. As a Christian, one must fervently seek Godís will and do it, to feel that you can excuse yourself by not getting involved, thus not get in trouble, is ludicrous. This type of servant is still worthy of being punished because they should know their masterís will.

   The second passage is a completely different scene, and completely different audience. Even in excruciating pain, Jesus still loves and cares enough for those who put Him there that He asks for their forgiveness. They did not realize that they were crucifying the Saviour of the world. This was for anyone involved in putting Him there, and that is love indeed!

   So, one passage is in relation to teaching the Body of Christ what is expected of them and what can happen to those who choose to be ignorant of His will. The other is to give forgiveness to those who had no idea what they were actually doing at the time of His crucifixion.

   There is no contradiction!


In His Grace,

            Mike Harris


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