Today’s Scripture – December 7, 2016

Matthew 12:30-32 (NIV) “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.  And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

Jesus here divides people into two groups.  The first group are those who are with Him, on His side in the work of the kingdom, and whose efforts and energies contribute to gathering people into the kingdom.  This group obviously includes the disciples of Jesus.  The second group are those who oppose Jesus, and who spend their energies working against Him and against what He is trying to accomplish for the kingdom.  These people end up scattering those that Jesus is trying to attract to the kingdom, and include the Pharisees who were constantly fighting against Him and what He was doing.

The idea of an “unforgiveable sin” has stimulated a lot of discussion among both theologians and laypeople, wondering and debating the exact nature of nature of “blasphemy against the Spirit.”  But in context, it is not too difficult to understand.

The people that Jesus was making this pronouncement to were the Pharisees who had just accused Jesus of being able to cast out demons because He was possessed and controlled by Beelzebub, the prince of demons.  However the Scriptures tell us that Jesus was actually possessed and controlled by the Holy Spirit.  The Pharisees’ hearts were so twisted by their sin and hatred that they identified the Holy Spirit that filled Jesus as a demonic force.  That is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  That is the kind of speaking against the Holy Spirit that Jesus is referring to.

And the reason why this inverted spiritual viewpoint is unforgiveable, is because anyone who is twisted enough to call the Holy Spirit evil will never turn to that same holy power seeking forgiveness.  They will have reached the point where their hearts are irretrievably hard.

Father, this all points out very clearly that we need to make sure that we always work WITH Jesus, steadfastly and faithfully doing the work of Your kingdom that we have been called to.  If we do that, we will never have to worry that we will grow hardened to the point that we will call Jesus or the Holy Spirit evil, and thus will never end up being guilty of an unforgiveable sin.  Help me, Lord, to always stay soft and responsive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, so that I can bring glory to You.  Amen.

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