What Will God Not Forgive? (Y1.T1.D45)
Pexels, "Julia Volk"
Our passage today begins with the people who knew Jesus for a lifetime—identified as “friends,” “family,” “relatives," etc., by various translations—who are attempting an intervention because they believe “He is insane." (Mark 3:21).
The teachers of the law proclaimed he was performing miracles via Beelzebub, the prince of demons.
Amid these unfair accusations, the Prince of Peace provides a warning. To paraphrase Jesus says, "Blaspheme about me all you want—I can take it—but don't blaspheme the Holy Spirit."
The actual verse says, "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in that which is to come" (Matthew 12:32).
Jesus didn't announce this because they called him crazy. He said it "because they said, 'He has an unclean spirit'" (Mark 3:30).
Neither his family nor the teachers of the law knew what they were dealing with.
The same is true today. According to a 2020 article in The Christian Post, “More than half of US adults, 30% of evangelicals believe Jesus isn’t God.” A dangerous trend—however, this idea appears to be forgivable based on what Jesus said.
But what about the 44% of respondents who “agreed that since Jesus was both man and God when He walked the earth, He committed sins like any other person”?
Thoughts like these deny how “the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without defect to God (to) cleanse (our) conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Hebrews 9:14). The 44% are speaking against the Holy Spirit who enabled the human Jesus to remain sinless.
Does that mean close to half of those surveyed are damned?
I don’t think so. Although Jesus warned us, "Every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:36–37), he still judges the heart (Romans 10:10).
Those in danger are the ones who ardently deny the work the Holy Spirit performed through Jesus because they block access to the one being who can show them another way. "For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God’s Spirit." (1 Corinthians 2:11)
Without the Holy Spirit, we are stuck with only human reasoning. We need him to keep evil from taking root in our hearts and blocking our access to forgiveness.
Spirit of God, Lead Us
20 The multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him; for they said, “He is insane.” (Mark 3:20–21)
16 Others, testing him, sought from him a sign from heaven. (Luke 11:16)
32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in that which is to come. (Matthew 12:32)
30 —because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” (Mark 3:30)
24 The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of the man, passes through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, he says, ‘I will turn back to my house from which I came out.’ 25 When he returns, he finds it swept and put in order. 26 Then he goes, and takes seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first.” (Luke 11:24–26)
33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. 35 The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things. 36 I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. 37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33–37)
27 It came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!”
28 But he said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:27–28)
Thank You for establishing me in Christ and providing the down payment of the Spirit into my heart (2 Corinthians 1:21–22). Please prevent me from doing anything that would grieve the Holy Spirit who has sealed me for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). Open my heart and mind to the lessons the Holy Spirit wants to teach and remind me of (John 14:26) and the spiritual gifts distributed to me to do Your work (1 Corinthians 12:3–11).
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