Grow deeper Devotionals

a follow up to Concord Trinity UMC weekly sermon

Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Hard Sayings of Jesus

Grow Deeper Devotions 

"Unpardonable Sin"

   by Rev. Laura Taylor

 

(click yelow links to read Scriptures in many versions online)

 Monday – read Matthew 12:22-32. What miracle does Jesus do in the opening of these verses? What is the response by the “crowds”? What is the response by the “Pharisees” or religious leaders? Why do you think they accused Jesus of being a demon or working from demonic power? Why could they not see that he was powered by the Spirit of God?

 

How do you decide what is of God and what isn’t of God on a daily basis?

Tuesday - read Matthew 12:27-32. Jesus challenges the religious leaders’ accusations by asking questions that get folks thinking. How does he challenge their assumptions and accusations about being powered by Satan? What sins will be forgiven? What does blasphemy against the Spirit mean to you based on the context? Why would that be different from other sins?

Wednesday – read Matthew 12:30-37. How does our fear and focus keep us from seeing the mercy and grace of Jesus right in front of our eyes today?Remembering that Jesus is speaking to the religious leaders who have accused him of doing miracles by Satan’s power, what warnings should they have heard from Jesus? Why was it so hard for them to see the mercy and grace that Jesus revealed through his healing miracles as coming from God? How did their fears and focus keep them from seeing the Messiah right in front of their eyes?

Thursday – read Mark 3:20-30. Why does Jesus say blaspheming the Holy Spirit is an eternal or forever sin?  Do you know anyone who has been concerned about whether they had committed this sin or not? Similar to Matthew 12:22-32, Jesus is being criticized by the religious leaders for all the healing miracles he has done, but his family is mentioned in this passage too. What does his family say? What do the scribes say?

 

What does verse 28-29 tell you about what blasphemy will be forgiven or not? Is blaspheming the Spirit a sin that can happen today or was it only for those religious leaders who had seen the miracles of Jesus firsthand and accused him of operating from a demonic Spirit instead of God’s truth?

Friday – read Luke 12:8-12. Maybe we are to focus more on forgiveness for ourselves and others rather than judging who won’t be forgiven because that’s the work of God, not us.

 

Today's verses are similar to Matthew 12: 31 and Mark 3:28-29. What seems to be the context for the verse this time? There are many different religious opinions about what the sin of blaspheming the Spirit or Holy Spirit might be and whether it can be committed today or only applied to those Jesus addressed in person.

 

Everyone seems to agree that if you are concerned about whether you have committed this sin, you most likely have not. Having respect for God’s saving grace, being hopeful of forgiveness and being concerned about your relationship with God are not in line with someone who has hardened their heart to the goodness of God to the point that they attribute the work of the Spirit in the world to the powers of evil.

We truly hope to share, praise God and learn with you

each Sunday here in worship!

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