"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 NLT
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.
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
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.
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.