A few things in Mark 3...
- Jesus' family, friends, and religious leaders think He is crazy and possessed by the Devil... The demons believe He is the "Son of God" and "fall down" (whatever that means) before Him. -(Thanks to Rob Bell for this little insight)
Again, there are many direction we could go here and several very interesting issues in this chapter, but in order to keep it short I'll point out one.
"Blaspheming The Holy Spirit" as the "unforgivable" sin.
In other words... It's pretty serious.
Now I have always heard this phrase interpreted to mean someone who rejects the Holy Spirit... You know, such as the Holy Spirit is knocking on the door of your heart but you just won't let him in.
Sounds like a good explanation, but doesn't seem to be what the phrase is referring to here in the scripture. I think it could be much more dangerous than that, in fact, maybe its something many of us do more than we know.
The text goes...
People can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter (good to know), BUT whoever "blasphemes the Holy Spirit" will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin...
Fair enough... But then Mark clarifies what Jesus is actually referring to...
He said this because they were saying, "He has an impure spirit."
So what Jesus was saying and doing didn't sit well with the religious leaders so they called him a blasphemer and even claimed he was from Satan. However, what Jesus was actually saying and doing was good and of the Spirit.
Seems like the ole religious folk thought they knew a thing or two and Jesus was tearing their systems down pretty quickly, and of course when systems are tore down people get scared and then angry and then the name calling begins. Someone has to stand up for their version of truth.
Is "blaspheming the Holy Spirit" calling something that is good, bad? And if so, don't you think we should be a little more careful when we label people things like... Oh, I don't know... a "Heretic"?
Makes me think of what Jesus says to his overly eager disciples... "those who are not against us are for us." But it's much more fun to call fire down from heaven, right?
And now that its possible that many of us have blasphemed the Holy Spirit in one way or another, the question needs to be asked... What did Jesus mean by "unforgivable sin"?