In my last post, we saw that Jesus’ family was concerned that He was overworking Himself, while the Pharisees were accusing Him of being demon-possessed. Being led by the Holy Spirit doesn’t always follow the logical path. How did the Lord respond?
So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.”
The first thing that Jesus does is to point out how utterly illogical the Pharisee’s accusation is. What possible reason would Satan have to drive out his own kingdom?
This is especially true since it was Jesus who would be getting the credit for it. Their argument made no sense; it just exposed how jealous they were of Christ’s ministry.
The Lord goes on to explain exactly what He was doing through these miracles.
In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house.
The fact is that Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work. Israel had been downtrodden, conquered, and oppressed for so many years that most of the Jews had lost hope. Through His miracles, the Lord was showing them that God still loved them.
Christ was single-handedly pushing back the darkness of the enemy. He was taking back what rightfully belonged to the kingdom of God. He was proof that the enemy can never stop the Spirit of God.
But the next statement the Lord makes has caused quite a bit of confusion.
“I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”
He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”
One problem is that we lose sight of His first statement. It is clearly spoken. All the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven. By the way, the word blasphemy simply means a hurtful statement made against someone.
According to Jesus, there’s nothing that can’t be forgiven. However, His second statement reveals some very dangerous ground. The literal Greek reads that the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit does not hold forgiveness, but is ensnared in perpetual sin.
The first thing I see is that to speak hurtfully against the Holy Spirit, you must already know that it’s the Holy Spirit you’re speaking against. The Pharisees were not just making a mistake about what was happening.
They knew that the Spirit of God was at work. They knew that it was the Holy Spirit who was setting free those who were being oppressed by the devil. They were trying to exalt themselves by discrediting Jesus by means of theology.
Jesus is telling them that the trap of this behavior is that you’re denying the only One through whom you can receive forgiveness. It’s not that they couldn’t be forgiven, as much as it was that they didn’t want forgiveness.
By denying the Holy Spirit’s work, they’re speaking against the very One who could save them. That’s a condition that can entrap you into an everlasting sin.
Question: How grateful are you for the Lord’s forgiveness?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi