30He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. 31“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
Jesus now invited the crowd to make a clear conclusion about His claim to Messiahship.
He who is not with Me is against Me,
Jesus challenged the crowd to make a choice for Him or against Him. The Pharisees made their choice by attributing the claims of Jesus to the demonic work of Satan. Since they were not “with” Him, they were “against’ Him. There is no neutrality or middle ground when we face the claims of Christ. People are on one side or the other when it comes to Jesus. He draws a line of difference between people who embrace Him and those who reject Him.
and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
Those who rejected Jesus as the Messiah by not gathering people to Him (harvesting) instead scattered people who might have accepted Him as Messiah.
The word “therefore” carries the idea of because of this—that is, because certain people scatter people away from Christ.
I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men,
The idea of “blasphemy” is slander, usually against God. This is a condition of extreme, fixed negative volition towards God. It expresses itself in open slander against God. Jesus died for the sins of all men:
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.1 Jn 2:2
but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
Jesus accused those who rejected His Messiahship of committing the unpardonable sin, which was to attribute to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit in presenting the credentials of Jesus.
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him;
Jesus contrasted slandering the Son of Man in His humanity with slandering the Holy Spirit’s work of setting forth Jesus’ credentials as the Messiah.
but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him,
The words “speaks against” have the idea of blasphemes. The nation of Israel was at the point of accepting or rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. Decision about the Messiah is irrevocable. It is the role of the Holy Spirit to testify to the credentials of Jesus as the Messiah. The person who rejects this message commits the unpardonable sin—blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
either in this age or in the age to come.
There will be no forgiveness, either in the age of the Messiah’s public ministry or the Millennial Age of the Messiah to come, for the person who “speaks against the Holy Spirit.”
Attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to a diabolical source constitutes direct repudiation of His work.
I have counseled people who thought they had committed the unpardonable sin. They thought that adultery, killing another person, or stealing a large amount of money made them guilty of the unpardonable sin. The person who committed the unpardonable sin in Jesus’ day (the only time this sin could be committed) unrelentingly rejected His Messiahship as authentic, and attributed that work instead to Satan. People today can reject Christ, but they cannot commit sin against the Holy Spirit.
The sin against the Holy Spirit (the unpardonable sin) is not equivalent to rejecting Christ as Savior. People may refuse to accept Christ for years but later in life embrace Him as Savior.