Summary: What is the unpardonable sin? And have I committed the unpardonable sin?
I’m so excited to share with you today, that I need for you and me to simply jump into our Scripture with little introduction. If you didn’t bring a Bible with you, you’ll need one today. And we’ve provided you with one if you didn’t bring it. As matter of fact, you have my permission to take that Bible home with you, if you don’t have one. It’s free for you and a gift from our church. We love God’s Word and we want you to have access to it.
“As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, 54 lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.”
1 “In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
8 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, 9 but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And 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. 11 And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:1-12)
We’re looking at some of the more obscure and baffling things Jesus said. And if you were to identify one of Jesus’ more troubling statements for people down through the years, it would be this…
Today’s Big Question: What is the unpardonable sin? And have I committed the unpardonable sin?
I can’t begin to count the number of people who’ve come to me broken and shaken because they are convinced they have committed a sin that God cannot or will not forgive.
Calling Out Hypocrites
Rejected like Judas
Redeemed like Peter
1. Calling Out Hypocrites
It’s noteworthy that Jesus begins talking about hypocrisy when the big crowds arrive (Luke 12:1).
Fame brings huge temptations where you’re motivated to simply please people. And certainly, Jesus is aware of this. Hypocrisy normally comes when I’m concerned about what you think about me. Jesus says, “Don’t act like a Pharisee.” There are various levels of hypocrisy. Even the most devoted follower of Christ is a hypocrite at one level. Yet, the hypocrisy of the Pharisees was bold and blunt hypocrisy… … a major league hypocrisy.
Move your eyes back into chapter 11 for a moment to better see just who these religious men were and why Jesus boldly called them out: “As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.” (Luke 11:53-54) To really picture the invisible heart of these religious men, Luke has to use vocabulary from hunting. Later, the same word behind our phrase “lying in wait for him” is used to describe the actions of a group of forty men who had taken an oath to ambush Paul. And they were pursuing Christ as men pursue a wild animal.
The word “hypocrisy” comes from a Greek word that was originally used in the world of the theatre. When the Greek actor put on the mask, he was to mask his real self in order to play his role. But each and every form of hypocrisy is fueled by pride – what others think of me. You’ve worked with people like this, right? People who were born on third and think they hit a triple? A big ego drives us to worry about what others think, pride. And the big ego drives you to hide your allegiance to Jesus because you’re ashamed to be placed with such a crowd.