Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.
It's understandable that Jesus is angry here. The teachers of the law are supposed to be a moral and theological authority, and having just seen the holy spirit heal someone, are accusing it of being a demon. If Jesus is right, it's clear why that's some nasty blasphemy.
On the one hand, I think it's understandable if Jesus spoke with vehemence over precision here (and in other places). Words are always imperfect: being imprecise (especially as a moral authority) is bad, but it's not always the MOST bad thing. For the usual analogy consider a parent and a child. If the child tried to have the parent cast out for being a demon, I think it would be entirely reasonable for the parent to say that was unforgivable, even if it was still possible, though unlikely, to reconcile later.
On the other hand, even if we take a fluffy Jesus-was-a-nice-guy-even-if-he-wasn't-G
From a theological standpoint, if you take forgiveness-by-God literally, is there a standard interpretation of this passage?
If you take Jesus-died-for-our-sins literally, does that only apply to people who died after Jesus? Were there things which were previously unforgivable sins which became forgiveable with Jesus' sacrifice -- either specific really bad ones like blaspheming against the holy spirit, or as some people would say, ALL sins? Or was forgiveness via God's grace available before Jesus' death, just very rare?
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