I. Video. Shalom Jerusalem
A. Data. Paul Wilbur.
B. Thoughts. May we continue to offer worship and praise to God, “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
II. Introduction. In order for us to proceed forward in this study we must understand what Jesus meant by the words “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit,” as they relate to the context of the teaching that Jesus had with the Jews of first century Israel. It is also important for us to know that the word “blasphemy” is often used in our world today, without having any basis for truth. We have heard stories of people who believe that they are guilty of having committed blasphemy and, therefore, have a destiny in the lake of fire. We will consider the meaning and context of “blasphemy” in Matthew Chapter 12, and in a scripture of cross reference value in Matthew Chapter 26. This article will show that “the meaning and context” of the term, “blasphemy,” has nothing to do with a person being destined to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10-15).
III. Chapter Background. Matthew Chapter 12
A. Pharisees Accuse Jesus of Healing by Demonic Power, 12:22-37.
1. Following the many miracles already recorded, an outstanding case of need was presented to the crowd in one who was demon possessed and both blind and dumb. Such a pitiful person should have aroused the sympathy even of the Pharisees. When Jesus, with amazing power, healed him so that he could both speak and see, and by inference cast out the demon, it brought amazement to the people, and they said, “Is not this the son of David?” (v. 23). (Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost).
2. The Pharisees countered by accusing Him of casting out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Beelzebub was actually a heathen deity, referred to earlier by Jesus in Matthew 10:25, and one supposedly in authority over the demons. (Dr. John F. Walvoord).
3. Jesus answered the Pharisees by showing the illogic of their statement. He pointed out that this would be a kingdom divided against itself. It would be Satan casting out Satan. If the casting out of demons is by Beelzebub, then by whom did the Pharisees who were exorcists cast out demons? The point was that only the power of God or someone under the power of God could accomplish this. (Dr. John F. Walvoord).
4. Jesus then drove home His point. If demons have been actually cast out, then it must have been by the Spirit of God, and then, in the person of Christ, the kingdom of God had come unto them. One could not enter the demonic realm victoriously unless he first had bound the strong man (v. 29). The Pharisees had to make a choice. They were either with Jesus or against Him. But if they were against Him, they were guilty of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, a sin which by its nature is not forgiven (vv. 31-32). (Dr. John F. Walvoord).
5. There has been much misunderstanding about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Here it is properly defined as attributing to Satan what is accomplished by the power of God. Such a sin is not unpardonable in itself, but rather because it rejects the person and work of the Holy Spirit, without whom repentance and restoration are impossible. As far as it applies today, it is not the thought that one seeking pardon will not find it, but rather that one who rejects the Holy Spirit will not seek pardon. It is the ultimate in unbelief. In verse 33, He points out that a good tree brings forth good fruit and a bad tree brings forth bad fruit. They must judge Him on the basis of His works. (Dr. John F. Walvoord).
6. The unbelief of the Pharisees calls forth the strongest language. Christ addressed them, “generation of vipers,” or poisonous snakes. He declared that they were evil and therefore could not speak good and warned them that as unbelievers, every idle word they speak will be called to account on the day of judgment. He concluded in Matthew 12:37, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” This was addressed to the unsaved Pharisees, not to Christians who were justified by faith and whose sins had been forgiven. (Dr. John F. Walvoord).
B. Condemnation of the Pharisees. Matthew 12:31-32.
In Chapters eleven and twelve of Matthew, we see the opposition to the King. The great question before Israel is: “Is not this the son of David?” (Matt. 12:23). It is evident that Israel is answering in the negative. Christ shows that both He and His forerunner have been rejected (11:1-9), and this rejection will result in judgment (11:20-24). Because of the ultimate rejection of the cross Christ can
give a new invitation (11:28-30), an invitation to all. In chapter twelve the rejection comes to a climax. The populace was debating the person of Christ (12:23). The answer given by the Pharisees was: “This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils (12:24.) The Holy Spirit had borne His witnesses to the Person of Christ through His words and His works, and the leaders who examined the evidence have decided that His credentials are the credentials of hell, not those of heaven. The great warning of judicial blindness and judgment is given by the Lord to the nation (12:31-32). (Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost).
C. Scripture Text. Matthew 12:31:32. Ryrie Study Bible.
31 “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
1. Verse Examination. Bible Hub. Lexicon. Blasphemy. Matthew 12:31.
blasphemy. Strongs. 988: slander.
blasphémia: slanderOriginal Word: βλασφημία, ας, ἡ
Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine
Phonetic Spelling: (blas-fay-me’-ah)
Usage: abusive or scurrilous language, blasphemy.
Cognate: 988 blasphēmía (from blax, “sluggish/slow,” and 5345 /phḗmē, “reputation, fame”) – blasphemy – literally, slow (sluggish) to call something good (that really is good) – and slow to identify what is truly bad (that really is evil).
2. Ryrie Study Bible. Verse Examination. Matthew 12:31.
“blasphemy against the Spirit.” Technically, according to the scribes, blasphemy involved direct and explicit abuse of the divine name. Jesus, here, teaches that it also may be the reviling of God by attributing the Spirit’s work to Satan. The special circumstances involved in this blasphemy can not be duplicated today; therefore, this sin can not now be committed. Jesus exhorted the Pharisees to turn and be justified (vv 33, 37 ).
IV. Chapter Background. Matthew Chapter 26.
A. Scripture. Mathew 26:63-65. NASB.
63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold, you have now heard the blasphemy;
B. Trial of Jesus Before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin. Ryrie Study Bible.
1. In desperation, the high priest addressed Jesus saying, “Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?” (v. 62). Jesus, however, did not answer until the high priest said to Him, “I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God” (v. 63). At this official and direct question, Jesus responded, “Thou has said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven” (v. 64).
2. It is strange that the high priest was unable to produce any witnesses to confirm his charges, as Jesus had freely claimed His deity and Messiahship, but the words of Jesus were all the high priest needed. Jesus not only claimed to be “the Christ, the Son of God,” but He added that He would sit at the right hand of God and come in clouds of heaven as the predicted Messiah. This clear claim of deity prompted the high priest to tear his clothes and say, “He hath spoken blasphemy. What think ye?” The crowd answered, “He is guilty of death” (vv. 65-66).
3. The issue was clear enough. If Jesus were not all He claimed to be, indeed He was guilty of death, according to the Jewish law. What the chief priests and the scribes ignored was the fact that Jesus had not only made the claim but He had fully supported it by the very credentials and miracles which the Old Testament had attributed to Him.
C. Verse Examination. Matthew 26:65. Bible Hub. Lexicon. Blasphemy. See Verse Examination. Lexicon. Blasphemy. Matthew 12:31.
D. Ryrie Study Bible. Verse Examination. Matthew 26:65. Ryrie Study Bible.
“the high priest tore his robes.” An action expressing grief and horror at hearing what he considered to be blasphemy, Christ having claimed to be God.
V. Summing it up.
1. To tell someone that they have blasphemed the Holy Spirit, and are destined for Hell, is horrible, as well as cruel. The Scripture in question (Matthew 12:31), very clearly shows that no one today is guilty of committing such an offense (check the Lexicon explanation of the meaning of blasphemy). Check also the Ryrie notes on 12:31 and 26:63-65, and it will be clear that no one today can commit such an offense. The problem that Jesus had was with the Jewish leaders, and not with the common Jews. The Jewish leaders accused Jesus of committing Blasphemy, and not the other way around. The penalty that the unbelieving Jews were demanding, as relating to Jesus. was death, physical death, which would come at the hands of the Romans, and would not come from the Providence of Yeshua.
2.In Matt 12:24, the charge that was made against Jesus was: 24 “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.” There has been much misunderstanding about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Here it is properly defined as attributing to Satan what is accomplished by the power of God.
3. In Matt 26:65, Jesus had freely claimed His deity and Messiahship, but the words of Jesus were all the high priest needed. Jesus not only claimed to be “the Christ, the Son of God,” but He added that He would sit at the right hand of God and come in clouds of heaven as the predicted Messiah. This clear claim of deity prompted the high priest to tear his clothes and say, “He hath spoken blasphemy. What think ye?” The crowd answered, “He is guilty of death” (vv. 65-66). The issue was clear enough. If Jesus were not all He claimed to be, indeed He was guilty of death, according to the Jewish law. What the chief priests and the scribes ignored was the fact that Jesus had not only made the claim but He had fully supported it by the very credentials and miracles which the Old Testament had attributed to Him. (notice that we are not under Jewish law).
4. In the two scriptural examples of blasphemy, it is clear that no one in today’s guilty can be guilty of committing blasphemy. Also, John 3:16 is permanent, as to its teaching of the unending security and salvation of any believer in Christ.
5. As has been stated in the past, the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) relate to the offer by Jesus, of the Davidic Kingdom to the nation of Israel, and was not a gospel of soul winning. To get into the teaching of soul winning, John’s Gospel is the source of such information. In addition to John 3:16, consider John 17:3, and John 20:30-31.
VI. Sources. Each of the following book sources should be considered for purchase and used in studies of God’s Holy Word, especially as it relates to its end times teachings.
A. Things To Come, J. Dwight Pentecost, Dallas Theological Seminary. (Th. M., Th. D.).
VI. Acknowledgements. It is important for readers of these articles to know that my sources of information come from biblically sound theologians. Presidents, Instructors, and graduates from Dallas Theological Seminary and Moody Bible Institute are widely known for their sound understanding of Scripture. It has been a blessing for me to have read books, and watched teaching videos that have an origin from those two seminaries. Please check out the following details that tell of each of the seminaries.
A. Dallas Theological Seminary.
B. Moody Bible Institute.