40 Days in Mark’s Gospel – Day 7

Mark 3:28-29  “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”

A sin that will never be forgiven? Wow! That’s one to make note of. Don’t want to go there.

We hear so much about the grace and mercy of God, that it seems difficult to imagine anything so heinous in His eyes that He cannot look past it. What could be so bad? Homicide? Mass murder? Genocide? Rape? Theft? “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.”

Blasphemy of the Holy SpiritGrowing up, I was taught that a casual and thoughtless “Oh, God!” constituted blasphemy. That would doom most people in our culture. But, thankfully, it seems that Jesus had something else in mind.

In Mark 3, religious people accuse Jesus of performing signs and wonders by the power of Satan. They assigned credit to the devil, not to God, for casting out demons. And the accusers charged that Jesus Himself had an unclean spirit.  In that context, Jesus utters His stark warning.

In one of the most potent statements Jesus makes in the Gospels, He declares that when we deny to God the glory that is due Him, when we specifically honor Satan for the works of God, we blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and are “guilty of an eternal sin.”

It should make us all a touch nervous.

Perhaps Jesus means exactly what He says. Or perhaps He uses hyperbole; exaggeration to emphasize the importance of His point. Either way, it drives me to ask if there have been times when I have been so bitter or so afraid of someone else that I refused to see the hand of God in their lives and, to the contrary, accused them of being led by Satan. It takes a hardened heart and a blind eye to walk this dangerous path.

Better always to have open hearts than closed minds. Jesus could not frame this in more startling terms. Miracles, signs and wonders, casting out demons, and prophetic words might not always be of God but God is jealous for His glory. Tread carefully.

How might we honor and glorify Him more fully today?

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