“‘Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin’— for they had said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’” (Mark 3:28-30)  It would be perfectly understandable if in coming to this passage, one might want just to keep on moving: family rejected, talk of Beelzebul and worst of all, the sin that cannot be forgiven.  Yep, this might be a good week to turn to the epistle!  And yet, there is an important word, perhaps the word we have been longing to hear: Jesus really does have the power to forgive us.  We come to that word in the following way.  What we see here are two separate groups (Jesus’ family and the scribes) who both refuse to see Jesus as he really is.  The family think that he is crazy and want to get him a little rest and relaxation.  The scribes see him as evil and therefore wish to destroy him.  Both fail to recognize him as the “Son of Man who has authority on earth to forgive sins.” (Mark 2:10)  And that is what leads us to this unforgiven sin business.  To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to deny the word that the Spirit brings: in Christ our sins are forgiven.  And so the only thing which cannot be forgiven is an unwillingness to recognize Jesus for who he really is:  the only One who can give us what we desperately long for: a deep assurance that we have indeed been pardoned.  There is nothing that you and I have done or can ever do that is not forgivable by Jesus.  Full stop, end of story.  Isn’t that good news?  Believe it for yourself! Maybe you just might want to tell someone else about it.  Have a great week!