The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary & meditation 
"Blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven"


Scripture:  Matthew 12:31-32

31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Meditation:  What is the unforgivable sin which Jesus warns us to avoid?  Jesus knows that his disciples  will be tested and he assures them that the Holy Spirit will give them what they need in their time of adversity. He warns them, however, that it's possible to spurn the grace of God and to fall into apostasy (giving up the faith) out of cowardice or disbelief. Why is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit reprehensible? Blasphemy consists in uttering against God, inwardly or outwardly, words of hatred, reproach, or defiance.  It's contrary to the respect due God and his holy name.  Jesus speaks of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit as  the unforgivable sin. Jesus spoke about this sin immediately after the scribes and Pharisees had attributed his miracles to the work of the devil instead of to God.  A sin can only be unforgivable if repentance is impossible.  If someone repeatedly closes his eye to God and shuts his ears to his voice, he comes to a point where he can no longer recognize God when he can be seen, and when he sees evil as good and good as evil (Is. 5:20). To fear such a sin, however, signals that one is not dead to God and is conscious of the need for God's grace and mercy.

There are no limits to the mercy of God, but any who refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit. God gives grace and help to all who humbly call upon him.  Giving up on God and refusing to turn away from sin and disbelief results from pride and the loss of hope in God. What is the basis of our hope and confidence in God?  Jesus' death on the cross won for us our salvation and adoption as the children of God. The love and mercy of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit are freely given to those who acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  Is your hope securely placed in Christ and his victory on the cross?

"Lord Jesus, your mercies are new everyday. Help me to turn away from sin and cooperate with the purifying grace and work of the Holy Spirit in my life."


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 (c) 2004 Don Schwager