Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit | Mark 3:28–30

28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”

God forbade blasphemy (Ex 22:28), and demonstrating its seriousness, He commanded death for those blaspheming in ancient Israel (Lv 24:10–16).  Coming from Jerusalem, the scribes now blaspheme Jesus as demon-possessed (3:22)—though not to His face, for He had to call them over to Himself (v. 23).  They recognize and resolutely reject their Redeemer, and now they remain without hope.

They believe He works wonders.  This highlight from the Jewish Talmud notes “the ministry of Jesus: ‘On the eve of Passover Yeshu [Jesus] was hanged. And an announcer went out in front of him for fourteen days [saying], “He is going to be stoned, because he practiced sorcery and led Israel astray!” ’ (b. Sanh. 43a, cp. 107b; b. Sota 47a; t. Sabb. 11:15; cp. Justin Dial. 69:7). The quote is from the earliest period of compilation of rabbinic traditions (c. A.D. 70–200) and shows a clear polemic against Christianity, but it nevertheless confirms that Jesus was remembered as a miracle worker opposed by the keepers of Jewish tradition.”[1] 

They rejected salvation.  Since they had to acknowledge His works, they ascribe evil to the Holy Spirit of God empowering Christ.  As such, they reject all His ministry—the proclamation of good news and the Lord’s favor (cf. Is 61:1–2), and His bearing their sins (Is 53:11).  Their rejection denied God, removing any path of salvation for them.

Do you worry that you’ve committed the unpardonable sin?  These hard-hearted scribes never regretted their sin and even recorded their blasphemies for posterity.  While you may have thought negatively about God and even uttered filth against God (sins needing His forgiveness), fearing that God will never pardon you means that you want to be forgiven.  Jesus offers it to you if you turn from sin to Him (repent) and believe Him for salvation today.

[1] Ted Cabal, Chad Owen Brand, et al., The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2007), 1472.

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