Today we are reading from Mark 3:20-30:
20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” 23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered. 28 “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Today, we see the religious leaders come and say the things that you see Jesus doing, He is not doing them through the power of God, but in fact, he’s doing them through the power of the devil. It is not God’s work that is happening, it is the devil’s work.
At that point we see Jesus share with us one of the harshest words He ever shares. There is a sin that is unforgivable. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Not blasphemy (profane talk) but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. We know that blasphemy in and of itself is forgivable. How do we know that? Paul shares with us that he was a former blasphemer (1 Timothy 1:13). And we know that he is forgiven.
Why is it blasphemy against the Spirit? It is because it is the Spirit by which we can experience God’s conviction, the desire for repentance, and forgiveness itself. If we cut ourselves off from the Spirit, then we have cut ourselves off from the actual way by which we are forgiven. That’s why this is the unforgivable sin, you won’t ask forgiveness.
Blasphemy against the Spirit is unforgivable because the one who has committed has confused the work of God for the work of the devil. And in doing that, they have no means by which to experience God’s grace. It’s not that God won’t forgive, they just will not allow God close enough to experience forgiveness.
If you feel bad about something you have done or said, then you haven’t blasphemed, because you haven’t cut yourself off from God. Conviction, guilt, repentance, show that we are still aware of God and His grace.
Today, if we feel that, we are able to be forgiven. Guard your heart against sin and always allow the Spirit close to your heart. In this, all will be well.
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