Devotional Readings

Mark 3:29 – Blaspheme against the Holy Ghost

Mark leads us into reading Old John Gill’s interpretation comentary on this verse in Matthew.

Mar 3:29  But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:
Mar 3:30  Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

Mark 3:29 Gill

But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost,….

Against his person, and the works performed by him, by ascribing them to diabolical power and influence, as the Scribes did,

hath never forgiveness: there is no pardon provided in the covenant of grace, nor obtained by the blood of Christ for such persons, or ever applied to them by the Spirit;

but is in danger of eternal damnation. The Vulgate Latin reads it, and so it is read in an ancient copy of Beza’s, guilty of an eternal sin; a sin which can never be blotted out, and will never be forgiven, but will be punished with everlasting destruction; See Gill on Mat 12:32.

Mark 3:30 Gill

Because they, said, he hath an, unclean spirit. They charged Christ with having a devil, and his miracles with being wrought by the help of the devil; when, at the same time, they knew in their own consciences they were works which were wrought by the finger and Spirit of God, and so were guilty of the sin against the Holy Ghost; the unpardonable sin, for which there is no remission: and this is mentioned as a reason why our Lord said what he did concerning that sin; because they had been guilty of it, and so were liable to everlasting punishment on account of it.

Mat 12:32  And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Matthew 12:32 Gill

And whosoever speaketh a word against the son of man,…. By whom is meant, not any man, as Grotius thought, but the Lord Jesus Christ, so often called “the son of man”, on account of his human nature, in which he appeared in great meanness and obscurity. Now many might, through ignorance of him, thinking him to be a mere man, and taking up with common fame, speak evil of him, deny him to be the Messiah, reproach him for the meanness of his parentage and education, and for the freedom of his conversation with publicans and sinners; and do many things contrary to his name, as Saul, whilst a Pharisee did, and thought he ought to do; and yet be afterwards convinced of their mistakes, and be brought to a sense and acknowledgment of them, and obtain pardoning grace and mercy, as Saul did, though a blasphemer; and who is an instance of what is here promised,

it shall be forgiven him through the grace of God, the blood and mediation of Christ, under the application of the blessed Spirit.

But whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, in the sense before declared,

it shall not be forgiven him: not because the Holy Ghost is greater than Christ; or for want of efficacy in the blood of Christ; or because God cannot pardon it;

but because such persons wilfully, maliciously, and obstinately oppose the Spirit of God, without whom there can be no application of pardon made; and remain in hardness of heart, are given up to a reprobate mind, and die in impenitence and unbelief, and so there is no forgiveness for them,

neither in this world, nor in the world to come; that is; they shall never be forgiven, see Mar 3:29. The distinction here used, does not refer to a common one among the Jews, of the Jewish state and the times of the Messiah; but to the present state of life, and that which will be after, or upon death: and it does not suppose there may be forgiveness of other sins, though not of this, in the other world; but strikes at a notion the Jews had, that there are some sins, which repentance and the day of atonement expiate in this life; but there are others, which repentance and the day of atonement do not expiate; and these a man’s death expiates, or makes atonement for (a). The form of confession used by sick persons is the following (b);

“I confess before thee, O Lord our God, and the God of our fathers, that my cure is in thy hands, and my death is in thy hands; if it be thy good pleasure, heal me with a perfect healing: but if I die, תהא מיתתי סליחה, “let my death be for the pardon”, forgiveness, and atonement of all the sins, iniquities, and transgressions, which I have sinned, acted perversely in, and transgressed before thee; and give me my portion in paradise, and justify me “in the world to come”, which is hidden for the righteous.”

But the sin against the Holy Ghost is such, as is not forgiven, neither before, nor at, nor after death, nor by it: all sins that are forgiven, are forgiven in this world, and that perfectly and at once; and all that are forgiven in this world, there will be a manifestation and declaration of the pardon of them in another; but such sins as are not forgiven here, there will be no declaration of the pardon of them hereafter. In short, the sense is, that the sin against the Holy Ghost never has forgiveness; it is not pardoned now, and consequently there will be no declaration of the pardon of it hereafter. The Jews use the phrase in the same sense (c); a certain sick man said to his son,

“give me water, and such certain food; but if not, I will not “forgive thee, neither in this world, nor in the world to come”.”

That is, I will never forgive thee.

(a) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 86. 1. (b) Seder Tephillot, fol. 333. 2. Ed. Basil. Vid. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 60. 1. (c) Sepher Chasidim: num. 234.

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