Previous Verse Next Verse


On account of this I say to you that men will be forgiven

Go to footnote number

of every sin, even blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.


Because of the accusation made by the Pharisees, and because everyone is either for God or against God, I tell you that men will be forgiven of every type of sin, even blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.



The word “forgive” actually means “to send away or to let go of.”


Here I will give a summary of the truth I explain more fully in my lesson called Which Sacrifice Was for Deliberate Sins? Basically, the sacrificial system, explained in the Law given through Moses, had no sacrifice which was designed specifically to atone for willful sins committed in full knowledge. There were a handful of sacrifices intended to deal with unintentional sins, and there was one whose secondary purpose was to seek atonement for the sins of the people as a whole, but there was no sacrifice for willful sins. In the old Testament these were called defiant sins, the word “defiant” meaning “with a raised fist.” All a person could do for that type of sin was throw himself on the mercies of God with contrition and repentance. This was a big hole that the sacrificial system of the Law did not even try to fill; it left those sins without a remedy so that people would be looking for a better solution, something more complete. When Jesus died as a sacrifice for all our sins, He proved that His sacrifice is better than the former system.

So the Jews already had the idea of an entire group of sins that were considered unpardonable. In reality, everyone had committed some of these sins; no one could expect to go to heaven by being good enough. The hope of salvation for anyone has always rested solely on the mercies of God.

But Jesus changed things. He became the sacrifice capable of atoning for all sins, even those committed with a fist raised against God. Obviously, atonement and forgiveness were not available while one was still in rebellion against God; repentance had to come first. That was true of those in the Old Testament whose only recourse was to throw themselves on the mercies of God, and it is true for us today as we throw ourselves on the mercies of God based on the redemptive work of Jesus. The statement that every sin could be forgiven, even blasphemy, was a huge change from what they had been used to. Only after His death, resurrection, ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit did His disciples understand why He made such a bold statement.

Then He goes on to give a couple examples of what He meant.