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

Sunday, June 13, 2021

[Jesus continued:] "So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven — except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come."
— Matthew 12:31-32 NLT

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, not only are truth and repentance at an impasse; they even pass each other going opposite directions. Jesus' opponents are now attributing his work to demons (Matthew 12:24) 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 (Matthew 12:17-21). 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, in the blasphemy, the Spirit's work in Jesus' ministry is called Satan'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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 7:51-53
  • Titus 3:4-7
  • 2 Corinthians 3:17-18


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Illustration of Matthew 12:31-32 NLT — "So I tell you, every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven — except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.