If he loves his enemies, he will simply give embraces and kisses to these people who crucified his son. There is no question of forgiving them; otherwise you are depriving them of the kisses of God and the embraces of God and the love of God. If he forgives them, they are no longer enemies; they have not done anything wrong so the question of loving them does not arise. And Jesus praying certainly shows that he is not certain that God is going to forgive them. He is suspicious; otherwise prayer is irrelevant, absurd.
Secondly, even though praying for them, that they should be forgiven, he goes on being arrogant – for which he is being crucified. And he is not leaving that point at all. In the end he adds his insistence, “Forgive them….” Why? “…because they know not what they are doing.” They are ignorant and he knows. This idea, that they are all ignorant, is simply egoistic.
And you don’t have any proof of what you have been telling them. They are simply asking for the proof, and this is one of the ways of finding out whether you are the messiah or not: the messiah should be crucified and there will be a resurrection. So these poor fellows are simply following religious scriptures. They know exactly what they are doing. They are not ignorant, they are really much too knowledgeable. Ignorant people are innocent; ignorant people don’t crucify anybody.
These are knowledgeable rabbis, the high priests of the Jewish temple. These are very knowledgeable people, far more knowledgeable than Jesus is. And this is the whole conflict, that they think this man is simply a crackpot – with no arguments, with no logic, with no rationality, with no support of the scriptures – who goes on proclaiming that he is the only begotten son of God. Now, anybody can say that. There is no way to disprove it.
I have heard a story…. A man, very ugly, dirty, poor, uneducated, fell in love with a very beautiful girl of the city – rich, cultured. And he was in difficulty, how to get this girl? Even to meet her was difficult. The story belongs to India, it can happen only in India. One Gandhian, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, suggested a simple method: do what Gandhi did.
The man said, “What am I supposed to do?”
The Gandhian said, “You simply go with your bed, spread the bed before the palace of that rich man and go on a fast. Say that unless you are married to the girl you are not going to break your fast – a fast unto death. And I will collect people; don’t be worried.”
The idea was appealing, and soon the man was lying there with signboards all around and flags and decked, “With our love….” “Fast unto death for love.” Nobody had ever heard of such a great lover before – and so religious too; not threatening anybody, simply killing himself. Now, you cannot take action against any person…and particularly in India. All the Gandhians were in support because of course it is a non-violent method. The police cannot interfere, the government cannot interfere.
The father was in trouble, thinking, “This is something strange. If he dies I am condemned for my whole life. People will say, ‘You killed that man.’ The murder is on my head. And I cannot let this man get married to my daughter. He has no merit, no qualification he is a beggar, a criminal.”