Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit (Lk 12:10-12:10)

“Everyone

Who speaks a word

Against the Son of Man

Will be forgiven.

But whoever blasphemes

Against the Holy Spirit

Will not be forgiven.”

 

καὶ πᾶς ὃς ἐρεῖ λόγον εἰς τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ· τῷ δὲ εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα βλασφημήσαντι οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that everyone who spoke a word (καὶ πᾶς ὃς ἐρεῖ λόγον) against the Son of Man (εἰς τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) would be forgiven.  However, whoever blasphemes (βλασφημήσαντι) against the Holy Spirit (τῷ δὲ εἰς τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα) will not be forgiven (οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται).  There are similar statements to this in Mark, chapter 3:28-30, and Matthew, chapter 12:31-32.  It might be okay to disrespect the Son of Man, but it is quite another thing to speak against or blasphemy the Holy Spirit.  Blasphemy was profaning the name of God.  If you profaned the Holy Spirit you were hopeless.  Only God could forgive sins.  If you gave up on God and his Spirit, there was no hope of forgiveness.  The Son of Man was so human that you could be forgiven for speaking against the Son of Man, Jesus, but not the Holy Spirit.  Matthew indicated that Jesus told them with a solemn proclamation (Διὰ τοῦτο λέγω ὑμῖν) that God would forgive all human sins and blasphemies (πᾶσα ἁμαρτία καὶ βλασφημία ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς ἀνθρώποις).  However, he would not forgive the sin of blasphemy against the Spirit (ἡ δὲ τοῦ Πνεύματος βλασφημία οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται).  Humans could speak against the Son of Man (καὶ ὃς ἐὰν εἴπῃ λόγον κατὰ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου) and be forgiven (ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ).  However, anyone who spoke against the Holy Spirit (ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ κατὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος τοῦ Ἁγίου) would not be forgiven (οὐκ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ), either now or in the future (οὔτε ἐν τούτῳ τῷ αἰῶνι οὔτε ἐν τῷ μέλλοντι).  Mark had Jesus tell them with a solemn proclamation (Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν) that God would forgive all the sins of the sons of men (ὅτι πάντα ἀφεθήσεται τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων) as well as whatever blasphemies they utter (καὶ αἱ βλασφημίαι, ὅσα ἐὰν βλασφημήσωσιν).  These blasphemies were abusive or bad language about God.  However, the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit was in a class all by itself.   Mark indicated that Jesus said that whoever blasphemed against the Holy Spirit (ὃς δ’ ἂν βλασφημήσῃ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον), would never be forgiven even in eternity (οὐκ ἔχει ἄφεσιν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα).  He would be guilty of an eternal sin (ἀλλὰ ἔνοχός ἐστιν αἰωνίου ἁμαρτήματος).  Anyone who spoke against the Holy Spirit would not be forgiven either now or in the future, because this blasphemer had an unclean spirit (ὅτι ἔλεγον Πνεῦμα ἀκάθαρτον ἔχει).  Therefore, he could not be cleansed.  Have you ever derided the Holy Spirit?

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The mocking passerby people (Mk 15:29-15:30)

“Those who passed by

Derided Jesus.

They were shaking

Their heads.

Saying.

‘Aha!

You who would destroy

The Temple

And build it

In three days,

Save yourself!

Come down

From the cross!’”

 

Καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν καὶ λέγοντες Οὐὰ ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις,

σῶσον σεαυτὸν καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:39-40.  In Luke, chapter 23:35-37, the religious leaders and the soldiers were doing the mocking, not the passersby people.  However, John did not have anyone making remarks about Jesus.  Mark said that some people passing by abused and derided Jesus (Καὶ οἱ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν).  They shook their heads at Jesus (κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν).  They said “Aha! (Οὐὰ),” as they reminded Jesus that he had said (καὶ λέγοντες) if the Temple was destroyed (ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν), he would rebuild it in three days (καὶ οἰκοδομῶν ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις).  They told Jesus to save himself (σῶσον σεαυτὸν).  Why didn’t he come down from the cross (καταβὰς ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ)?  The taunting of these people seemed to turn on Jesus’ own words.  It would be surprising if many people came by the cross.

Conclusion: Passion, Resurrection and Great Commission

 

This gospel concluded with the events of the last week of Jesus, a main preoccupation of all four gospels.  Jesus had entered Jerusalem in triumph.  He held a last supper and prayed to be spared.  He was betrayed by Judas.  Then he was tried by the Jewish leaders and before The roman governor Pontius Pilate.  Jesus was crucified as king of the Jews and mocked by all.  At his death, there was an earthquake, when the veil of the Temple was cut in two, and the saints rose from their tombs.  Mary Magdalene and the other women discovered the empty tomb.  Jesus told them to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee.

There was a plot to kill Jesus.  Jesus spoke to his disciples and gave his fourth prediction about the death of the Son of Man.  Then the chief priests and the elders gathered to plot the arrest of Jesus.  However, before that, there was an anointing by the unnamed women in Bethany as she poured oil on Jesus.  Others wanted to know why she was wasting oil.  Jesus said that she had done a good thing by anointing him for burial.  Thus, she would be remembered.  Meanwhile, Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

Then they made the preparations for the Passover.  Where would the Passover be?  There was a house for the Passover meal, as the disciples prepared for the Passover evening meal.  Jesus announced the betrayal.  Who would betray Jesus?  This betrayer would be cursed, as Judas spoke out.  At the Last Supper Eucharist, Jesus said that this was his body and blood with eschatological implications.

They went to the Mount of Olives.  Jesus predicted that the apostles would scatter.  He was going to go to Galilee.  Peter said that he would never desert Jesus.  Then Jesus warned Peter about his desertion, but Peter was adamant that he would never deny Jesus.

They went to Gethsemane as Jesus took his three favorite apostles.  He prayed to his Father while these apostles slept.  There was a second prayer of Jesus, as he came a second time to the sleeping apostles.  He prayed a third time.  Then Jesus woke them up.

Judas arrived and kissed Jesus, as they then seized Jesus.  Someone cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave.  However, Jesus told them to put their swords away as the disciples fled.

Jesus went before Caiaphas the high priest, while Peter followed Jesus to the courtyard of the high priest.  They were looking for false testimony.  Finally, two witnesses came forward.  The high priest spoke and Jesus responded.  He called the words of Jesus blasphemy, as they mocked Jesus.  Peter’s denied Jesus three time and then he remembered Jesus’ words.

The elders and Pharisees planned to kill Jesus.  They would deliver Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor.  Meanwhile, Judas repented, but he hung himself.  He returned the pieces of silver to the Temple, but it was used to purchase a graveyard called the Field of Blood to fulfill a prophecy of Jeremiah.

Jesus went before Pilate as he asked him if he was the king of the Jews?  However, Jesus did not respond.  The governor was going to release one prisoner at the festival time.  However, the people wanted the prisoner Barabbas rather than Jesus.  Pilate got a warning from his wife.  Nevertheless, the crowd wanted to crucify Jesus.  Pilate claimed that he was innocent of his blood but the crowds said that his blood be on us.  Barabbas was then released.  Jesus went to the governor’s head quarters where the Roman soldiers mocked him.

They prepared Jesus for the crucifixion.  They got Simon of Cyrene to help with the cross as they went to Golgotha.  They divided his garments and wrote on the cross Jesus, King of the Jews.  There were two robbers who derided and and taunted Jesus, just like the Jewish religious leaders had mocked Jesus.

Darkness fell over the land as Jesus died.  The cry of Jesus was interpreted as a call to Elijah.  They gave him sour wine to drink.  Would Elijah save Jesus?  When Jesus died, the Temple curtain was torn in two.  Tombs opened and the dead rose and appeared in Jerusalem.  He truly was  the Son of God.

There were women from Galilee, especially the women called Mary.  Joseph of Arimathea got the body of Jesus and put it in his tomb as the women called Mary were vigilant.  Meanwhile, there was a gathering with Pilate, since the Jewish religious leaders wanted to have the tomb secure.  Thus, a custodial guard was set up at the tomb.

The two Marys visited the tomb, where there was another earthquake with an angel at the tomb.  The guards were afraid, but the angel speaks to the women to tell them to let the disciples know what happened.  The women left the tomb and Jesus appeared to them.  Meanwhile, the guards told the chief priests in Jerusalem what had happened.  These religious leaders paid the guards to tell everyone that someone stole the body of Jesus while they were sleeping.  Thus, this stolen body story spread.

After the resurrection, the remaining eleven disciples returned to an unnamed mountain in Galilee.  There the post-resurrection Jesus gave them authority in heaven and on earth with his great commission:  They were to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them with a Trinitarian formula.  They were to follow his commandments because Jesus would be with them until the end of time.

Your sister’s cup (Ezek 23:31-23:34)

“‘You have gone

The way

Of your sister.

Therefore,

I will give her cup

Into your hand.’

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘You shall drink

Your sister’s cup!

It is deep!

It is wide!

You shall be scorned!

You shall be derided!

It holds so much!

You will be filled

With drunkenness!

You will be filled

With sorrow!

It is a cup of horror!

It is a cup of desolation!

It is the cup

Of your sister

Samaria!

You shall drink it!

You shall drain it out!

You shall gnaw its sherds!

You shall

Tear out your breasts!

I have spoken.’

Says Yahweh God.”

This seems to be a poem or oracle about a cup of wrath. Jerusalem has gone the way of her sister Samaria. Thus she will be given her sister’s cup, the Samarian cup. Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that Jerusalem would drink her sister’s deep and wide cup. Thus she was going to be scorned and derided. Jerusalem would drink from this large cup. She would be filled with drunkenness and sorrow because this was a cup of horror and desolation. Jerusalem was to drain this big cup by drinking from it. She would then gnaw and eat the glass pottery sherd pieces of this cup. Finally, she would tear out her breasts. This is what Yahweh, God, had spoken. This did not sound like a good experience.

The response of the unjust (Wis 5:3-5:8)

“They will say.

‘These are persons

Whom we once held in derision.

We made them a byword of reproach.

We were fools!

We thought that their lives were madness.

Their end was without honor.

Why have they been numbered

Among the children of God?

Why is their lot among the saints?

So it was we

Who strayed from the way of truth.

The light of righteousness did not shine on us.

The sun did not rise upon us.

We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness.

We took our fill of the paths of destruction.

We journeyed through trackless deserts.

But the way of the Lord

We have not known.

What has our arrogance profited us?

What good has our boasted wealth brought us?’”

The unjust laid out their complaint. They said that they derided and reproached these people. They thought that their lives were madness and without honor. It turns out that they are the fools, because the righteous are numbered among the sons or children of God (υἱοῖς Θεοῦ), the holy ones (ἁγίοις), not them. The unjust suddenly realized that they had strayed from the truth (ἀληθείας). The light of righteousness and the sun were not going to shine on them. They had followed the path of lawlessness and destruction through trackless deserts. They did not know the way of the Lord (ὁδὸν Κυρίου). Their arrogance and wealth became useless.

National lament (Ps 79:1-79:4)

A psalm of Asaph

“O God!

The nations have come into your inheritance.

They have defiled your holy temple.

They have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

They have given the bodies of your servants

To the birds of the air for food.

The flesh of your faithful has been given

To the wild animals of the earth.

They have poured out their blood like water,

All around Jerusalem.

There was no one to bury them.

We have become a taunt to our neighbors.

We are mocked.

We are derided

By those around us.”

Psalm 79 is another psalm of Asaph. This national lamentation deplores the defeat and ruin of Jerusalem and its Temple, probably at the time of the captivity around 587 BCE. The bodies of the faithful were given over to the birds of the air and the wild animals. Their blood was all around Jerusalem. No one was there to bury them. The Israelites had become a taunt to their neighbors. They were mocked and derided by everybody around them.

The present distress of Job (Job 30:1-30:8)

“But now they make sport of me.

Those who are younger than I,

Whose fathers I would have disdained

To have them set with the dogs of my flock.

What could I gain from the strength of their hands?

All their vigor is gone.

Through want and hard hunger

They gnaw the dry and desolate ground.

They pick mallow and the leaves of bushes,

They pick the roots of the broom to warm themselves.

They are driven out from society.

People shout after them as after a thief.

They must live in the gullies of the Wadi torrents.

They must live in the holes of the earth.

They must live in the holds of the rocks.

Among the bushes they bray.

Under the nettles they huddle together.

A senseless, a disreputable brood,

They have been whipped out of the land.”

The difference between then and now is evident. Job instead of being a distinguished member of the community he was now derided. Now even the outcasts of society ridiculed him. Young people, whose fathers Job would have had them sit with his dogs watching his flock, are now making fun of him. Job was no longer strong. He then colorfully described the indigent homeless society of people who were making fun of him. These were the people who gnaw at the dry ground and eat in the salt marshes near the Dead Sea. They warm themselves with the roots of brooms, a shrub that grows in regions of that area. People shout after them as if they were thieves. They live along the river banks, the holes in the ground and in the caves. They huddle together like a senseless disreputable brood of people that have been sent away from the land.