Notes On Mark’s Gospel (38)

“On Your Mark”

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

The Unforgivable (Chapter 3 Verses 20-30)

We must be clear however, that the sin Jesus speaks of here is in the specific historical situation as recorded here. The sin against the Holy Spirit, which the Scribes are here exposing themselves to, is attributing to the agency of Satan, the redemption that Jesus has brought. The casting out of the demons was a significant mark of the intrusion of the Kingdom of God. And what these Jews are saying amounts to a denial of the power and might of the Spirit. They display a perversity beyond measure, in assigning God’s work to the actions of the devil. In this historical setting, this sin, is a conscious, deliberate rejection of God’s saving power manifested in the words and the actions of Jesus Christ. The warning is given to specialists trained in Biblical law, who interpret it to others, theirs was a position of responsibility, they were in grave, eternal danger. The sin is never committed inadvertently, unconsciously. It is calculated, it is deliberate.

The concern you perhaps feel as you read these words (vv28-30), is perhaps good, it shows a sensitivity towards God and things pertaining to God? A sense of the knowledge of having offended him? The reality of sin? That is brought about by the self-same Spirit who indwelt the Lord Jesus. No one is convinced of their sin in a spiritual sense without his working in them (John 16.8). The Spirit of God alone works repentance in the hearts of people too (Acts 11.18), but he does so in order that we might know the reality of God’s forgiveness (Acts 2.38), and in order that we might be spiritually refreshed (Acts 3.19). The knowledge of our sins being forgiven is a blessed condition indeed (Romans 4.7). How we need to learn to despair of ourselves? How we need to learn of Christ, and him crucified for our sins, he who was made sin for us, who knew no sin (2Corinthians 5.21). Jesus became what he was not, in order that you might become what you are not, in yourself. I know they are familiar verses, but read them again (Zechariah 3.4; Isaiah 41.10; Jeremiah 31.34; Psalm 103.12; Romans 5.6-8). As you sit and contemplate the cost of your forgiveness this morning, in the presence of the Lord, under his cross. What does this mean in terms of your life? Soon, very soon, there will be nothing, no-one, just you and God. Health, wealth, hiding places gone, nothing but eternity! What are you doing with your life?

(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)

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