The meaning of this terrible pronouncement by Jesus has been much debated. Again, we should look first at the context, the circumstances of the situation in which He said it. So much of what we can remember in the Bible are pithy one liners, but with no sense of when they were said. Do they even apply to us and if we take one 'comforting' message from God, then why not the ones of warning? The Scribes and Pharisees had declared that the power He used to perform cures and exorcisms was from satanic sources. One of the wonders here is that these Jewish religious leaders, who had spent a lifetime studying the Torah and the Talmud, had no sense of whether the power in Jesus was divine or demonic! To the Jews, the Holy Spirit revealed God's truth and enabled that truth to be recognised. Hence, if the Holy Spirit was acting through Jesus and these men were rejecting Him, before long they would lose the ability to see Him at all. They appeared to already have arrived there because of their declaration that good could be seen as evil and vice versa. Even the youngest, baby Christian can discern right from wrong, the Spirit from the Devil. A friend of mine became a Christian the first time he walked into the church I attended with no history of Christian experience. He struggled to awake in time to get to our services, so instead innocently went to a church much nearer to him instead. There the man was questioning whether Christ had really died on the cross. My friend, a few weeks into being a Christian, stood up and walked out! My friend could tell you that the first effect Jesus has on someone is to make them see their own sinfulness. Look at Peter's reaction in Luke 5 v 8: ''Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!'' The permanence of the sin of denying the Holy Spirit's presence and power is due to the fact that, without a knowledge of their own sinfulness, no one can come to Christ as a penitent sinner. If someone can look on the horrific and beautiful image of Christ crucified and not feel both a horror at themselves and an attraction to the goodness of that dying man then they have a deep problem!
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