At the end of Mark chapter 3, Jesus is accused of doing good works by the power of Satan. He responds to the teachers of the law with this statement:
“How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” – Mark 3:23b-25
Basically, Jesus calls out their logical error. If Satan is evil, how then can good works flow from his evil? How can man and woman be set free from oppression by hate itself?
He goes on to say what many consider a very controversial verse:
“I tell you the truth, all sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemies against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” – Mark 28-29
I find no controversy here but I feel I must start with a few definitions before going further.
First, I believe God is love, God is all that is good, God is freedom, and God is justice. Satan is the opposite of that. Satan is hate, Satan is all that is evil, Satan oppresses, and Satan is injustice anywhere.
God is manifest as a being in us every time we choose to act in a “Godly” way.
When you feed the hungry, that is GOD.
When you combat systemic racism, that is GOD.
When you love with no ulterior motive, that is GOD.
You could call the spirit by which these acts are done the “Holy Spirit.” It is that which is in all of us that promotes goodness.
Likewise, I do not believe in a Satan that is a single being, with independent agency, and that is roaming the earth looking for people to deceive. But I believe that Satan is manifest as a being every time you or I choose to act from an evil spirit rather than a good one.
Each of us has the ability to be the human manifestation of good and evil, of God and Satan.
So, Jesus says that blasphemies against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. What I understand from this passage is this: If you fail to recognize good for what it is and instead you actually call good evil, then how will you ever experience forgiveness? How will you experience the kingdom of God that is here now? If you can’t recognize goodness when you see it, indeed you will never experience it (eternal sin).
An act of love is never an act of Satan because Satan is the manifestation of evil and an act of evil is never an act of God because God is love.
In addition, Jesus is calling out the methodology of the religious leaders of this time. They were promoting judgement and hate to bring about the “kingdom of heaven” that they so desperately wanted to be accepted into.
But, how will hate lead to love?
How does judgement lead to grace?
How does evil lead to goodness?
The Kingdom of Heaven is brought forth and lived into when we live from the spirit within that promotes peace, mercy, grace, joy, and love.
This is a very Holy Spirit.
This spirit recognizes good for what it is.
Good is good is good.