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Matthew 12:31-32: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; An Inductive Study

Posted by adventbiblestudy on July 7, 2012


Matthew 12:31-32 “Every sin and blasphemy can be forgiven–except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which will never be forgiven. (32) Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.

 

There are a number of ways we can look at this text, a number of methods to study it. I think it is important to keep any text within context, the only way to do that is to look for the answer within the chapter. The Bible was written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit with a consistency throughout the Bible. One lesson builds upon another. Previous verses and chapters explain the text being studied. Until we see how the previous texts led into the text, we have no hope of understanding it. The first and most obvious reference is a prophesy relating to Jesus.

 

Matthew 12:17-21 This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah concerning him: (18) “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. (19) He will not fight or shout or raise his voice in public. (20) He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. Finally he will cause justice to be victorious. (21) And his name will be the hope of all the world.”

 

We see the connection based on the word SPIRIT used in both text. As always, when a NT text refers to an OT text, the original text provides additional information.

 

Isaiah 11:1-5 Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot– yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root. (2) And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him– the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. (3) He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay. (4) He will give justice to the poor and make fair decisions for the exploited. The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked. (5) He will wear righteousness like a belt and truth like an undergarment.

 

We find a definition of the Spirit contained in Isaiah 11. The Spirit supplies WISDOM, UNDERSTANDING, COUNCIL, MIGHT, and KNOWLEDGE of the fear of the LORD.

 

We can see anyone denying the Spirit must also lack one or more of these qualities.

 

We may also want to study some of the qualities of the Spirit to learn what the role of the Spirit is.

 

John 16:13-15 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. (14) He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. (15) All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

 

As we see, John 16 agrees with Isaiah 11.

 

To understand the context we need to locate and study words in the chapter that are the same, similar and related. This is know as a simple inductive study method. When we rely on the chapter to explain the text we can see the relationship of the subjects Jesus taught and how the Spirit relates each lesson. We have to understand, the Spirit teaches with a certain rhythm known as a rhyme. To see the inspired pattern we study each text using the same, similar, and related words. The first word we find used in previous texts is SON OF MAN.

 

Matthew 12:3 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry?

 

Matthew 12:8 For the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”

Matthew 12:9 Then Jesus went over to their synagogue,

 

Matthew 12:10 where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.)

 

Matthew 12:14 Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.

 

Matthew 12:15 But Jesus knew what they were planning. So he left that area, and many people followed him. He healed all the sick among them,

 

Matthew 12:22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.

 

Matthew 12:38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.”

Matthew 12:39 But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.

 

Matthew 12:46 As Jesus was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him.

Matthew 12:47 Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to speak to you.”

Matthew 12:48 Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”

 

We can chart out the main thought from each text:

 

Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you read in the Scriptures

Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath

Jesus went over to their synagogue

The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?”

plot how to kill Jesus

Jesus knew what they were planning

Jesus. He healed the man

prove your authority

Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign;

Son of Man be in the heart of the earth

asking to speak to him.

they want to speak to you.”

Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?”

 

We have already established the relationship between Jesus and the Spirit in Isaiah 11. Now we can look at the sequence leading up Jesus’ lesson about the Spirit.

 

The first point is a lack of knowledge about scripture. One point to consider. If the religious leaders had read the scriptures Jesus referred to throughout His ministry, they may have seen He is the Son of God, and would have never plotted to kill Him.

 

Jesus’ comment about the Sabbath illustrated the man made rules, laws, regulations, and doctrines the religious leaders used to control the masses. Instead of studying God’s love and pointing them to a Messiah sent to save the world, they clung to their desires of conquest, fame and glory.

 

Jesus reached out to those considering themselves His enemy. He went to them, meeting them where they felt comfortable, giving them every opportunity to listen and learn. He never forced anyone to follow Him. It was always an individual choice.

 

The Sabbath is a sign, a symbol of the connection, a personal relationship with God when the world is laid aside for a personal meeting with God. The religious leaders stood in the way of the personal relationship God sought with His people. Their status and control meant more to them than life to such a degree, they plotted to kill Jesus.

 

Jesus knew what they were plotting because He knew the prophecies about His life, ministry and sacrifice. He tried to point the religious leaders to these prophecies, but pride controlled them more than common sense or the Spirit.

 

Jesus has the power to heal and openly used the power from the Holy Spirit to show God’s love. The message should have been clear and easy to understand, but their hearts were so hard they asked for yet another sign.

 

The pull of the world was so strong, not even Jesus’ disciples could accept the plain simple truth concerning the prophecies about Jesus. It took His sacrifice to open their eyes, while those who killed Him wondered further away from God and His Spirit.

 

Jesus is available to those who seek Him. We are all heirs with Him to the Kingdom of God. He has chosen us to be His brothers and sisters. Jesus can do nothing more or less then share everything He receives from His Father with all His followers.

 

The word SPEAK is also repeated through out the chapter.

 

 

Matthew 12:22 Then a demon-possessed man, who was blind and couldn’t speak, was brought to Jesus. He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.

 

Matthew 12:32 Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.

 

Matthew 12:36 And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.

 

The main thoughts from these verses will also reveal a train of thought leading up to and explaining Jesus’ comment on the Holy Spirit.

He healed the man so that he could both speak and see.

anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven

you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.

 

Jesus is the only One to heal through His Spirit. Jesus healed the man to teach a spiritual lesson. Just like Jesus was able to give the man physical sight and speech, He is able to provide spiritual sight and speech.

 

Jesus also gives us freedom to choose. His death on the cross was an illustration of that. He did not open His mouth to defend Himself. His actions spoke louder than words. The religious leaders spoke against Jesus, using lies to condemn Him. One day they will answer for the choices they made.

 

There is one more word repeated in the chapter, SPIRIT. Once again we can study the texts it is used in to see the message within the context of the chapter.

 

 

Matthew 12:18 “Look at my Servant, whom I have chosen. He is my Beloved, who pleases me. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.

 

Matthew 12:28 But if I am casting out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.

 

Matthew 12:43 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none.

 

Matthew 12:45 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.”

 

Jesus walks with the Spirit of God. The Spirit guided Jesus every minute of every day to lead a perfect life, to offer the perfect sacrifice.

 

This world is a battle ground between God and the evil spirits confined to this world. Evil spirits never give up. If one is defeated he returns with seven others to torment that person to a point they feel they cannot bear or overcome. This is the reality of the world. When people seek Jesus, the devil will not easily give up. He will use every deception and lie to win a soul back to his control. Like the first deception in Eden, he will make it appear as if they are only trying to improve themselves. In reality they are seeking a source of power beyond God their creator.

 

As we can see, the scriptures are consistent in providing the role and answer to the question, what is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It also provides the contrast between following the Sprit, and relying upon the world and self, along with explaining how the devil works to lead people away from the Spirit.

 

In my own opinion I would say, anyone who places themselves between any person and a personal relationship with Jesus is denying the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus had to face a number of religious factions placing themselves in the place of the Holy Spirit. The chapter tells us they do not know the scriptures, they never knew Jesus. This would include a number of popular practices in many churches today. Pastors who do not teach people to study on their own. They do not know the power of the Spirit. They are afraid members will misinterpret scripture and mislead others. Isn’t it the Sprit who guides us into all knowledge? Are we ever supposed to trust or rely on a human to guide us?

 

This also includes church boards placing control on and discouraging members from conducting personal ministries. Like the religious leaders Jesus faced, they are filled with pride. They feel they have to control every detail, like they are the only people being led by the Spirit. Which spirit is leading them?

One Response to “Matthew 12:31-32: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; An Inductive Study”

  1. submitter said

    For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, SO SHALL the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matt 12:39-40

    The scribes sure love to invent lies. They should have wrote 2nights and 2days instead. Why such nonsense can be found in New Testament? Well the answer is scribes put made up stories at their own will in Greek text as Aramaic Logia have been eradicate entirely. Thus no men could perform a check on changed words of God.
    ~~~
    Is Greek texts pure word of God. Where is Logia of Jesus in Aramaic. Where is Matthew’s Aramaic gospel?

    P46 (175CE) is Greek manuscript with the largest percentage of difference on record. This just proved that Church have been changing words since early 2nd century at will.

    Here is the words of the early church father, Origen (3rd century CE):
    “The differences among the manuscripts have become great, either through the negligence of some copyists or through the perverse audacity of others; they either neglect to check over what they have transcribed, or, in the process of checking, they make additions or deletions as they please.” Origen, early church father in “Commentary on Matthew.”

    Regarding the oldest surviving fragment, Colin Roberts compared P52 writings using ONLY 5 samples from the early 2nd century CE back in 1935 and concluded based on those 5 samples; P52 was from the early 2nd century.

    (Brent Nongbri’s 2005. The Use and Abuse of P52: Papyrological Pitfalls in the Dating of the Fourth Gospel)
    What I have done is to show that any serious consideration of the window of possible dates for P52 must include dates in the later second and early third centuries. – Brent

    Compare with 4th century codexes. You will be surprise how Holy Spirit inside the scribes fail to prevent them from changing words of God ever since the beginning.

    Like

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