What Jesus Did! 'Ultimate Blasphemy' — Matthew 12:31-32

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

"So I tell you, people can be forgiven of every sin they do. And people can be forgiven for every bad thing they say. But if a person speaks against (refuses to accept) the Holy Spirit, then that person will not be forgiven. Any person that says things against the Son of Man can be forgiven. But any person that says things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. That person will not be forgiven now or in the future."
— Matthew 12:31-32
Illustration of Matthew 12:31-32 — "So I tell you, people can be forgiven of every sin they do."

Key Thought

As the opposition to Jesus' ministry has risen with every one of his compassionate deeds, his opponents repeatedly reveal themselves to be preservers of the status quo, not seekers of truth. But in this episode, the impasse of truth and repentance pass each other going opposite directions. Jesus' opponents are now attributing his work to demons while Jesus, quoting the prophetic witness about his ministry, emphasizes that he does the work he does because he is full of God's Spirit and is fulfilling God's plan. To attribute the Spirit's work through Jesus to the power of demons is ultimate blasphemy. It blasphemes God who promised the Messiah would come in the power of the Spirit. It blasphemes the prophets who spoke with the authority and the voice of God about this ministry. It blasphemes Jesus because it associates his work with Satan. Finally, and ultimately, it blasphemes the Holy Spirit because the Spirit's work in Jesus' ministry is called Beelzebub's work. As long as people can see Jesus' work and attribute it to evil and demons, then there is no hope or forgiveness available.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, thank you for the work of the Holy Spirit in Jesus' ministry. Thank you for the power of the Holy Spirit at work in my life to make me your child and empower my discipleship. Help me to know and follow the lead of the Spirit in all that I do. I ask for wisdom and discernment to know the Spirit's work when it occurs. Most of all, I commit my heart and my life to be used by the Spirit to be conformed to the character of Jesus. I pray this in the name of Jesus my Lord. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus knew what the Pharisees were doing. So Jesus left that place. Many people followed Jesus, and he healed all the sick people. But Jesus warned the people not to tell other people who he was. Jesus did these things to make happen what Isaiah the prophet said. Isaiah said, "Here is my servant; I (God) have chosen him. I love him, and I am pleased with him; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will judge the nations fairly. He will not argue or shout; People will not hear his voice in the streets. He will not break the reed that is already bent; He will not stop the light that has almost stopped burning. He will continue until he makes fair judgment win the victory. All people will hope in him." Then some people brought a man to Jesus. This man was blind and could not talk, because he had a demon inside him. Jesus healed the man, and the man could talk and see. All the people were amazed. The people said, "Maybe this man (Jesus) is the Son of David {that God promised to send to us}!" The Pharisees heard the people saying this. The Pharisees said, "This man uses the power of Beelzebul (the devil) to force demons out of people. Beelzebul is the ruler of demons." Jesus knew the things that the Pharisees were thinking. So Jesus said to them, "Every kingdom that is fighting against itself will be destroyed. And every city that is divided cannot continue. And every family that is divided cannot succeed. So if Satan (the devil) forces out his own demons, then Satan is divided. And his kingdom will not be able to continue. You say that I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons. If that is true, then what power do your people use when they force out demons? So your own people will prove that you are wrong. But I use the power of God's Spirit to force out demons. This shows that the kingdom of God has come to you. "If a person wants to enter a strong man's house and steal his things, first the person must tie the strong man. Then the person can steal the things fromthe strong man's house. "If a person is not with me, then he is against me. The person that does not work with me is working against me. So I tell you, people can be forgiven of every sin they do. And people can be forgiven for every bad thing they say. But if a person speaks against (refuses to accept) the Holy Spirit, then that person will not be forgiven. Any person that says things against the Son of Man can be forgiven. But any person that says things against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. That person will not be forgiven now or in the future.

Matthew 12:15-32

Related Scripture Readings

{Then Stephen said,} "You stubborn Jewish leaders! You have not given your hearts to God! You won't listen to him! You are always against what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you. Your ancestors did this, and you are just like them! Your ancestors persecuted every prophet that ever lived. Those prophets said long ago that the Righteous One (Christ ) would come. But your ancestors killed those prophets. And now you have turned against the Righteous One and killed him. You are the people that received the law {of Moses}. God gave you this law through his angels. But you don't obey this law!"

Acts 7:51-53

But then the kindness and love of God our Savior was made known. He saved us because of his mercy (love), not because of any good things we did. He saved us through the washing that made us new people. He saved us by making us new through the Holy Spirit. God poured out (gave) to us that Holy Spirit fully through Jesus Christ our Savior. We were made right with God by his grace (kindness). God saved us so that we could be his children and look forward to receiving life that never ends.

Titus 3:4-7

The Lord is the Spirit. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And our faces are not covered. We all show the Lord's glory. We are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory. This glory comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.