“Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing”, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them” were the pleas of two men at the point of death for an undeserving generation. These men were Jesus Christ and Stephen according to Luke 23:34 and Acts 7:60, respectively. How is it that men who had been falsely accused and brutally dealt with by their enemies still sought forgiveness for them even when they did not want it? Obviously, the human flesh will resist such thought because the flesh will be agonizing at that point.
The soul will reject such a thought because when reasoned out, such wickedness deserves judgment without mercy. However, they were compassionate towards them. This tells us that compassion can only spring from the Spirit. Compassion is a component of love. To exhibit the compassion of Christ is to allow the Spirit of Compassion have His way in you regardless of your current circumstance like Jesus and Stephen did.
They went beyond their suffering and reasoned that these men did what they did out of ignorance and the two did not call for evil repercussions on them but rather wished the eyes of these men will be opened unto repentance. As we will see in the subsequent days, Jesus while on earth, responded to the needs of others not with selfish intents but out of compassion.
The more we walk in the Spirit as Christians through the studying of God’s Word, prayer and obedience, the more God’s Spirit impacts Christ’s nature of compassion unto us. “…But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”- 2 Cor. 3:8. How do you respond to the needs of others and the unjust treatment from others?