Upon Further Reflection

Journey Through Scripture
Daily Readings
Genesis 43-45, Matthew 12:24-50


31 “Therefore, I tell you that people will be forgiven for every sin and insult to God. But insulting the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Human One will be forgiven. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven, not in this age or in the age that is coming (Matthew 12:31-32, Common English Bible).

Until not too long ago, I would have told you and did tell my congregations for some time, something that, upon further reflection, and further study of Scripture, I have come to understand I was wrong. I want to pause here and ask forgiveness from any of those who heard me say it and are now reading this post.

The something I said, “In the eyes of God, sin is sin.” For the most part, I would stand by that. In the eyes of God, stealing a piece of bubble gum that would cost a nickel, well, with today’s prices may be a dime is the same as robbing a bank and stealing potentially thousands. Stealing is stealing. While many want to believe that the bank is worse because of greater value, that wouldn’t be the case with God. The problem here is, we tend to equate crime with sin. Yes, the secular penalty for the bank robbery would be a great deal bigger issue than stealing the piece of gum. For God, they are both the same.

One day I was reading the passage that is the lesson for today’s post or the passage where Jesus is asked the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). I really don’t remember which. It doesn’t matter because when I read one and thought about it, my mind immediately went to the second.

Think of it this way. In today’s lesson, Jesus says, “And whoever speaks a word against the Human One will be forgiven. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit won’t be forgiven, not in this age or in the age that is coming.” If this is an unforgivable sin, it must be a greater sin than any other, even speaking against Jesus, which he says we can find forgiveness.

In the Matthew 22 passage mentioned above, Jesus is asked about the greatest commandment. His response is, love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself. The idea hit me suddenly. If this is the greatest commandment, to violate it just might be a greater sin.

Reflecting on the Scriptures, even Scripture we already know is a good thing. We might find new insights. We might find things we read wrong the first time around. Or, most important, God might have something new to say to us as we read and reflect.

Even if I am wrong and my logic is flawed, it seems to me, if we work hard to avoid sin and keep it at arm’s length from our lives, it really won’t matter if these sins are greater sins or if my original thoughts were correct. We won’t always avoid it, but when we fail, there is more grace in God than there is sin in us.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


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