An Unforgiveable Sin?

John Koedyker

Read: Mark 3:22-30

Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin. (vv. 28-29)

One of the great summaries of what Christians believe is found in the Apostles’ Creed. This often-repeated confession of faith has as one of its tenets that Christians believe in “the forgiveness of sins.” From what we read in these verses, Jesus also believed in that. In fact, he says it emphatically: “Truly”—“Amen” in the original text—“I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man.” However, he also adds: “but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.”

If you find that puzzling, you are not alone. The key in understanding this teaching of Jesus is repentance. The greatness of Jesus compared to human unworthiness ought to have prompted repentance. Instead, the religious leaders identified the miraculous works of Jesus with Satan. They did this blatantly, ignoring the guidance of the Holy Spirit who, if they had heeded, would have led them to the conclusion that Jesus is the Son of God (see Luke 10:21-22).

So, rest assured, every sin can be forgiven. There is hope for all of us—no matter how great that sin might be. But if we are unwilling to acknowledge our sin in repentance, there can be no forgiveness. —John Koedyker

Prayer: Heavenly Father, with the tax collector in the temple we sincerely pray, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13).