Words Past Understanding

Susan Damon

READ : John 13:18-28

“Was it hard to forgive the Germans?” I asked some of those I visited.

“Not nearly so hard as it was to forgive the Dutch people who collaborated with them,” was the invariable response. For unlike the Germans, many of whom fought against their will, the Dutch who helped the Nazis did so by choice, often because they thought Hitler’s socialism would bring greater prosperity.

For some people, the worst thing about the war was not knowing whom you could trust. Every word was guarded, for traitors could be anywhere, and people saw and heard as little as possible, because knowledge was dangerous.

Contrast that with Jesus. He knew exactly whom He could trust. He knew which words could be used against Him, which actions would lead to His death. Yet, so great was His commitment to His Father and to us that He acted and spoke with boldness, and brought into the inner circle of His friends the very one who would betray Him.

After the war, the Dutch traitors were arrested, shaved bald, and publicly humiliated. That is an understandable human response. But even as He hung on the cross, our Lord spoke words past human understanding: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”


Lord Jesus, we marvel at Your commitment, we marvel at Your love. May our lives daily reflect our gratitude. Amen.