Have you ever felt like you may have gone too far and there was no coming back from the disaster you yourself created?
That’s a horrific and dark place to be.
Wonderful Grace of Jesus
One of the most wonderful things about the Gospel is the news that in Christ there is forgiveness. God is not only willing to forgive, but eager to do so.
But, you may ask, are there sins God could never forgive?
A couple passages in the Scriptures seem to answer that question in the affirmative.
One of those passages is Jesus’ statement about the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
“Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven” (Luke 12:10, ESV).
This verse has caused some people to despair convinced they have committed the unpardonable sin. A colleague told me she had a friend who felt he had committed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. He was convinced it would be meaningless to accept Christ as his Christian friends were urging him to do. He ended up committing suicide.
Acts of Jesus – Before and After
So, understanding Jesus’ words here is not just an exercise to satisfy our theological curiosity; it could save someone’s life.
As I prepared for a course I am teaching this fall on the Acts of the Apostles, Luke’s version of Jesus’ statement took on a whole new meaning. For the first time, I understood it in relation to the Luke-Acts narrative.
Remember, Luke and Acts are two volumes of the same work. Luke intended his audience to read them as one book in two volumes. Often what Luke introduces in his gospel he later elaborates with concrete examples in Acts. I think he has done this with Jesus’ statement about Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
What did Jesus mean? That is the question I want to address in the next few posts.
Here is a clue to the answer: We must consider what the author intended and how his original audience would have understood it.
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