In Luke 12:47-48, Jesus said the one who didn’t know the will of God would be beaten with few stripes, but in Luke 23:34, He asked the Father to forgive those who did not know what they were doing. Is there a contradiction?
Luke 12 pictures a judgment scene. The Master is judging His servants by their deeds. Those who have done His will are blessed (Luke 12:42-44). Those who blatantly disobeyed are punished (Luke 12:45-47). A third group are mentioned, those who did not know His will, and thus disobeyed. The point of the text is that ignorance is not bliss. A servant ought to know His master’s will. Shutting our ears so we do not know what He commands is a sure way to be cast out in judgment.
But, what about the words of forgiveness spoken in Luke 23? Who exactly was Jesus referring to? Some assume it is the Roman soldiers I take a much broader view. Yes, the soldiers, but also the crowd, and the leaders who stirred up the crowd—in fact, anyone involved in crucifying Him (that includes you and I). Had they truly grasped the gravity of what they were doing, Paul says they would not have done it (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).
Forgiveness is offered to all, it is extended to those who will seek it. God is willing to forgive, but we must confess our sin and repent of it to receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
There is no contradiction.
A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.