Mark 3 - Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit'

I had begun to post my notes on Mark 3 and had written about verses 1-12, hit save and my site went down and it was lost. :-( Oh well, here are my thoughts on verses 13 and on ...

Mark 3:13 - I wonder how Jesus was able to get away with out the crowds. In verses 7-12, they were threatening to crush him and here he's on a mountain with the 12. Was it just because climbing the mountain was too much trouble to see Jesus?

Mark 3:20 - Back home again and the crowd returns and they cannot even eat because of it.

Mark 3:29-30 - The long debated 'blasphemy against the Holy Spirit'. For a teaching with such dire consequences (no possible forgiveness), it certainly is clouded by mystery. I have to admit, I'm not at all sure what it means, which is frankly a bit scary. I have a notion that it's denying Jesus or something like that, but I honestly dunno. I wonder if there's a clue in it being included here with the accusations that Jesus was working for Satan, but I'm not sure what to make of it. Any insights?

Mark 3:31-35 - Jesus draws a bold line of distinction here saying that his loyalty is no longer to his family but to the people of God. I wonder what it felt like for Mary and his brothers to hear this.

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Here is what J. W. McGarvey said about the unpardonable sin. Makes sense to me:

Blasphemy against the Son may be a temporary sin, for the one who commits it may be subsequently convinced of his error by the testimony of the Holy Spirit and become a believer ( 1Ti_1:13). But blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is in its nature an eternal sin, for if one rejects the evidence given by the Holy Spirit and ascribes it to Satan, he rejects the only evidence upon which faith can be based; and without faith there is no forgiveness. The difference in the two sins is therefore in no way due to any difference in the Son and Spirit as to their degrees of sanctity or holiness. The punishment is naturally eternal because the sin is perpetual.

Doug, - with all due respect to McGarvey's insight - I think the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit also has to do with the "woe" of Isaiah 5:20 - because the theme of Jesus' teaching was back in Mark 3:4: "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?"

The teachers of the law were about to call "evil" something miraculously good that was about to happen, and Jesus knew it when He said it in v.4 - and they were, in fact, saying it in Mark 3:22.

They no longer knew the difference between good and evil. They called what God made clean, "unclean." How can you repent from evil when you believe it to be good - or try to live a life that follows Christ when you believe His teachings and actions are evil? There can't be any forgiveness for someone whose conscience is so seared, because they are simply incapable of repenting.

I think blaspemy against the Holy Spirit is to deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth. (Hebrews 10:26) After you know what the HS is and then spit in it's face by deliberately and continually sinning. My $.02.

Hey Doug - this one has always made me stop and rethink too.
I don't think that the blasphemy that Christ is referring to is simply sin. We're never not going to do that this side of heaven. Owen says we "vex" the Spirit continuously by our thoughts and actions. But that's not the same as blaspheming. I also don't think we're blaspheming when we get bent out of shape when something rotten occurs and we get angry with God or question why He's allowing something to occur.

I think one has to make a very definite and conscious decision that while you absolutely believe in God you spit in His face and renounce His grace. That my friends is a pretty darn bold (and stupid) thing to do.

I can't imagine anyone believing in the saving power of Jesus Christ and yet cursing the gift that's freely offered. That I believe is the sin that's unforgivable.



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  • Hey Doug - this one has always made me stop and rethink too. I don't think that the blasphemy that Christ is referring to is simply sin. We're never not going to do that this side of heaven. Owen says we "vex" the Spir...

  • I think blaspemy against the Holy Spirit is to deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth. (Hebrews 10:26) After you know what the HS is and then spit in it's face by deliberately a...

  • Doug, - with all due respect to McGarvey's insight - I think the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit also has to do with the "woe" of Isaiah 5:20 - because the theme of Jesus' teaching was back in Mark 3:4: "Which is lawful on ...

  • Here is what J. W. McGarvey said about the unpardonable sin. Makes sense to me: Blasphemy against the Son may be a temporary sin, for the one who commits it may be subsequently convinced of his error by the testimony of...

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