Opinion of the Religious Leaders
32. Opinion of the Religious Leaders
The religious authorities are clearly threatened by Jesus’ growing popularity, and seek to discredit his attention-getting acts of healing by saying that he is only able to cast out devils because he himself is an ally of the devil. In response Jesus makes a strong defense, saying their accusation is ridiculous because a house or kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. But then he goes on: “Whosoever shall speak a word against me, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall blaspheme against the spirit of God, it shall not be forgiven him.”
Jesus understands that it is not him but the spirit of God working through him that enables the healing to occur. The scribes, however, are saying it is the spirit of the devil. Their motivation? To discredit Jesus and protect their own positions of power. This ego-driven act is the blasphemy of which Jesus speaks.
And why shall it not be forgiven? Perhaps because once we choose to serve our own power drive over the will of God, the ego takes control and it is nearly impossible for our higher selves to wrest it back. It is not that God punishes; it is that we have put ourselves under a powerful master that consumes us and makes us work against our own larger, enlightened self-interests.