After calling His twelve disciples to Himself, Jesus took them to a house, probably Peter and Andrew’s house… Jesus often used this house as a base of operations (Mark 3:20-27).
The Pharisees had determined that Jesus was an enemy of traditional Judaism, of which they considered themselves to be the chief overseers. As an enemy of their religion, they considered Jesus an enemy of God.
The Pharisees had a problem; they couldn’t deny the fact of Jesus’ miracles, for they were too numerous, too public, and too provable. Instead, the Pharisees denied the source of Christ’s power and accused Him of doing His miracles by the power of Beelzebub, the name of a pagan Canaanite deity probably meaning “lord of the flies.” This was a despicable deity; the Jews had long since used the name “Beelzebub” as a characterization for Satan himself.
The hardened hearts of the Pharisees (their determined unwillingness to believe what Jesus said and what He did), left them spiritually dead and eternally damned (Mark 3:28-30).
Jesus stated that any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men. Blasphemy is a form of sin, but in this passage and context the two are treated separately — with blasphemy representing the most extreme form of sin. “Sin” here represents all immoral and ungodly thought and action, but blasphemy represents a conscious denouncing and rejection of God’s power, presence, and sovereign authority.
Blasphemy is defiant irreverence, intentionally, openly, speaking evil against God.
The OT penalty for such blasphemy was death by stoning. But the NT is a dispensation of Grace. Even blasphemy, Jesus says (v. 28), will be forgiven, just as any other sin is forgiven when it is confessed and repented of. An unbeliever who blasphemes God can be forgiven at the moment of salvation.
Even a believer can blaspheme, for any thought or word that defames the Lord’s name constitutes blasphemy. But all that is forgivable by the grace which has come from God through Christ. Speaking to believers, John said, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9).
Any sin can be forgiven man, with one exception: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven (v. 29, cf. Luke 12:8-10).
Blasphemy against the Spirit reflects a willful and determined unbelief — a refusal to believe in Christ, even after having seen and heard all the evidence necessary for understanding — this is blasphemy against Jesus in His deity, God the Son, and the God the Spirit who uniquely indwelt and empowered Christ. This irreverence reflects a determined rejection of Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior — and for such rejection is there is no forgiveness — those who reject Christ, God the Son, Lord and Savior, are doomed to eternal punishment (John 3:36).
In both Mark 3 and Luke 12, Jesus is talking about a settled condition of the soul which is the result of a long history of repeated and willful acts of sin rejecting the authority and sovereignty of Almighty God.
This is not a condition of God’s unwillingness to forgive, but it is the sinner’s unwillingness to accept God’s forgiveness. Theologian J.C. Ryle puts it this way: “There is such a thing as a sin which is never forgiven. But those who are troubled about it are most unlikely to have committed it.”
Those who spoke against the Holy Spirit (in our text) were those who saw His divine power working in and through Jesus but willfully refused to acknowledge or accept Christ’s divine authority; in fact, in some cases they attributed Christ’s authority and power to Satan.
Many people heard Jesus teach and preach God’s truth yet they refused to believe Him. They had seen Him heal diseases, cast out demons, and forgive every kind of sin, yet they charged Him with blasphemy and demonism. Even with all the evidence of Jesus’ deity and Lordship, these people rejected Him. There was nothing more God could do for them; they would remain eternally unforgiven, judged to receive God’s wrath of condemnation.
During Christ’s earthly ministry, the unbelieving who blasphemed the Spirit cut themselves off from God’s mercy, not because God is unloving or unmerciful, but because they willfully rejected and ridiculed God’s holy work through Christ, even saying it to be satanic.
What resulted from their rejection of Christ? Within 40 years (a generation’s time), God destroyed Jerusalem, the Temple, the priesthood, the sacrifices, and the nation of Israel. In 70 A.D. the Romans took Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, killing over a million people, and obliterating about a thousand other towns and villages in Judea. God’s chosen people had said “no” to Him, and so they remained outcast.
God is the final authority and His Word is Sovereign Truth in all matters of Creation, Damnation, God, Man, Sin, Salvation, Heaven and Hell. Everyone is a sinner and therefore unacceptable to God (Rom. 3:23). The penalty for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 6:23). God wants all men to be saved (1Tim. 2:3). And God wants all His children to have confidence in their salvation (1John 5:11-13).
There comes a time for everyone when further opportunity for salvation is forever lost ( Hebr. 4:6-7; 2Cor. 6:2). Anyone can say “no” to God, turn their back on His Grace and reject His Son, Jesus Christ — permanently cutting themselves off from God’s forgiveness and eternal life — committing the only unpardonable (unforgivable) sin: rejecting God’s One and Only Son!