Summary: There are thousands of people who are terrified that they may have committed the unpardonable sin. This is a shame because the mere fact that they desire to repent is evidence that the Holy Spirit is still working in their lives. I think that part of the
“What Is The Unforgiveable Sin?”
In this message we are going to deal with a passage that has been more troublesome to many than any other. This passage (also found in Mark 3:28-29, Luke 12:10) contains Jesus’ teaching on what has come to be known as the “unforgivable” or “unpardonable” sin!
There are thousands of people who are terrified that they may have committed the unpardonable sin. This is a shame because the mere fact that they desire to repent is evidence that the Holy Spirit is still working in their lives. I think that part of the problem is that many believe that “this” sin is some mysterious sin that one can secretly or ignorantly commit.
In verse thirty-one Jesus says, "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. (32) Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
On the positive side, only the sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is called unpardonable, but every other sin can be forgiven. That is good news!
First, The Miracle That Jesus Performed (12:22-23)
“Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw. (23) And all the multitudes were amazed and said, "Could this be the Son of David?"
Those who witness this miracle by Jesus reach dramatically different conclusions. This miracle caused many of those who witnessed it to wonder if Jesus was the “son of David” – which is a title of the Messiah. But the Pharisee instead of believing brought accusation against him.
Second, The Reaction Of The Pharisees (12:24)
“Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons."
While claiming to be God’s representatives to Israel the Pharisees deliberately and willfully attribute Jesus’ power to Satan. The Pharisees had themselves have been present to witness many of Jesus’ healing and miracles, therefore they could not deny the reality and validity of those events. So they center their debate not on whether he had done these things but how He had done them and what they signified.
Since they could not deny His power to cast out demons because He has just healed the man with the withered hand (12:13) and cast a demon out of the demon possessed man (12:22), so they question the source of his power. They said "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." (v.24) They are saying that Jesus is “poss-essed by Beelzebub” - Beelzebub is “Baal” spoken of in the Old Testament. And to show their contempt for this pagan god they added “zebub” which means “fly” meaning he was Lord of flies or Lord of filth. What they are really saying is that Jesus accomplishes what He does through the power of Satan. It fact that they did this in the face of direct evidence that Jesus was in fact the Son of God that this is such a shocking act of wickedness.
Third, The Response of Jesus (12:25-30)
“But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”
The Pharisee did not say anything directly to Jesus, but he knew their thoughts. And Jesus answers their accusation and with an extraordinary two pronged logic, He proves just how illogical it is.
•The Charges He Levels (vv. 26-27)
He Charges Them With Being Illogical.
(v. 26) “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?”
Jesus must have smiled as He told them, “What you say makes no sense. If I’m working for Satan why would I repair the damage that he caused to this man.” First in verse twenty-six he says, “If” Satan is divided against himself he will be defeated. Even the Devil knows his household must be united. He can’t be divided against himself. Then He continues by saying, If a “kingdom” is divided against itself we call this civil war. A nation won’t last if it continues in this!
•He Charges Them With Being Inconsistent.
(v. 27) “And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.”
As a second point in His argument in verse twenty-seven Jesus tells them they are being inconsis-tent in that some of their own number (“your sons”) also claim to exorcize or cast out demons, Jesus says if this is true from whom do they get “their” power?