|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:1-12 A firm belief of the doctrine of God's universal providence, and the extent of it, would satisfy us when in peril, and encourage us to trust God in the way of duty. Providence takes notice of the meanest creatures, even of the sparrows, and therefore of the smallest interests of the disciples of Christ. Those who confess Christ now, shall be owned by him in the great day, before the angels of God. To deter us from denying Christ, and deserting his truths and ways, we are here assured that those who deny Christ, though they may thus save life itself, and though they may gain a kingdom by it, will be great losers at last; for Christ will not know them, will not own them, nor show them favour. But let no trembling, penitent backslider doubt of obtaining forgiveness. This is far different from the determined enmity that is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall never be forgiven, because it will never be repented of.
Verse 10. - And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him. And yet even that offense, which consisted in playing the renegade and the coward; which refused to suffer for him here; which, out of slavish fear of man, consented to abandon his pure and righteous cause; - that offense, which would be proclaimed before the angels of heaven, would in the end find forgiveness. Some commentators point, as an illustration of this, to the fact of the dying Lord praying on the cross for his murderers; but the offense alluded to here, which should in the end be blotted out, was of far deeper dye. He prayed on his cross for those Romans who sinned, but sinned in the face of little light. But this forgiveness was to be extended to men who, through fear of men and love of the world, should deny him whom they knew to be their Redeemer. This is one of the most hopeful passages which treats of sin eventually to be forgiven, in the whole New Testament. But even here there is no so-called universal redemption announced, for in the next sentence the Lord goes on to speak of a sin which he emphatically said shall never have forgiveness. But unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. What is this awful sin? We have only to speak of its connection in this place. Here there is no possibility of mistake; it was that determined hatred of holiness, that awful love of self, which had induced the Pharisee leaders to ascribe his beneficent and loving works to the spirit of evil and of darkness. The accusation was no chance one, the fruit of impulse or of passion. They who accused him knew better. They had beard him teach, not once, but often; they had seen his works; and yet, though they knew that the whole life and thoughts and aspirations were true, who were conscious that every word and work was holy, just, and pure, in order to compass their own selfish ends, simply because they felt his life and teaching would interfere with them, they dared to ascribe to the devil what their own hearts told them came direct from God. This sin, now as then, the merciful Savior tells us has no forgiveness.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And whosoever shall speak a word against the son of man, it shall be forgiven him,.... These words, though introduced by Luke among the sayings of Christ, recorded in Matthew 10 yet were said by Christ, on occasion of the Pharisees, ascribing his works to diabolical influence and assistance; see Gill on Matthew 12:32.
but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost; as the Pharisees did, by charging the miracles of Christ with being done by the help of the devil, when they were wrought by the finger of the Spirit:
it shall not be forgiven. The Ethiopic version adds at the close of this verse, as in Matthew, "neither in this world, nor in that which is to come".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. Son of man … Holy Ghost—(See on Mt 12:31, 32).
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