Troublesome Topic: Luke’s Supporting Passage about Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit

Luke 12:8


Now I say to you, everyone who is inclined to speak in open agreement with me

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before men, THE SON OF MAN will also speak favorably of him before the angels of God;

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Now let me tell you this – all those who are aligned with me and are willing to let others know about it will be ones that GOD’S SOLUTION TO MAN’S PROBLEMS will speak well of before God Himself;

Luke 12:9


But the one who has spoken against

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me before men, will be spoken against before the angels of God.


but the one who rejects me before those around him will be rejected (by me) before God.

Who Will Be Rejected by Jesus?

Jesus was making clear statements about who will be accepted and who will be rejected. These statements follow the Old Testament pattern of focusing on the outward evidence that proves an internal condition. If you speak against God in the hearing of others it must mean you reject God in your heart, for which there are eternal consequences. However, the unspoken but implied truth that accompanies this is that, if you stopped being that kind of person and started agreeing with God and following His ways, there would be hope for you. The Law did not provide any such hope, but the many stories of God’s mercy and grace did. Jesus came to show that those stories are true indications of the nature of God. Jesus could have stopped there and it would have been an indictment against the religious leaders who were opposing Him. However, He went on to say one more thing directed at those religious leaders.

Luke 12:10


And everyone who will speak a word against the SON OF MAN, it will be forgiven him; but the one who has blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.


And everyone who questions the identity of GOD’S ANSWER TO MAN’S PROBLEM,

the offense can be forgiven, but the one who sees the obvious work of the Holy Spirit and opposes it, this offense will not be forgiven.

A Comparison of Matthew 12 and Luke 12

The context of Jesus’ statements in Luke twelve about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is similar to that of Matthew 12 even though it does not look like it at first glance. Both of them are part of a major section describing opposition that arose against Jesus from the religious leaders. In Matthew the accusation of casting out demons with the power of Beelzebub comes immediately before Jesus’ words about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which are followed by the sign of Jonah. In Luke the accusation involving Beelzebub is found in Lk 11:14-28, followed by the sign of Jonah (Lk 11:29-32), followed by Him saying that they were evil because their eyes (their desires) were evil, followed by more opposition from the religious leaders which is met by strong responses from Jesus, including six woes to those leaders. Then in Chapter 12 a large crowd gathers; Jesus begins speaking to his disciples in the hearing of others gathered. He starts out by warning them about the yeast (influence) of the Pharisees (Lk 12:1-3), then tells them not to be afraid of those who can kill the body (Lk 12:4-7), then in verses 8 through 10 He gets to the part about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Therefore I am convinced that my conclusions about the Matthew 12 passage hold true for this passage as well.

Are the Matthew and Luke accounts presenting the same event only that Matthew left out some things that came in between or did Jesus say these things more than once? We don’t know because the focus of the inspired Gospel writers was on the truths being taught. I see numerous instances in which Jesus appears to have said the same thing various times and in various contexts and my guess is that is what is going on here, although the context is similar in that it has to do with opposition.

The next lesson is: 1 John 5 and the Sin That Leads to Death


1: “speak in open agreement with me”

The word used here is a compound word that comes from “to speak” and “the same as,” or we would say, “to agree with openly.” It indicates not only agreement in thought, but the willingness to tell others about that you think the same thoughts as that other person. The same word is used about Jesus speaking for us before His Father, but I render it differently because the roles are different. Jesus does not agree with us; we must agree with Him. When we do so, He will speak well of us before God the Father, pleading on our behalf that His righteousness be imparted to us so that we can be seen as righteous and thus avoid eternal punishment.


“before the angels of God” meant heaven and heaven indicated the One who “owns” heaven. It was code language for “before God Himself” in the same way that “kingdom of heaven” was code language for “kingdom of God.”

3: “spoken against”

This word basically means “to speak against;” by implication it is variously translated as, “deny, reject, refuse to agree with, contradict, disown, refuse to accept.”