A. Forgiveness available for “all sins” (3:28)
B. Even blasphemy
1. “Speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things”
2. A capital crime under Mosaic Law (Leviticus 24:16)
3. A sin that starts in the heart (Matthew 15:18-20)
C. All sins can be forgiven except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (3:29-30)
A. The disciples – genuine followers (3:7a)
B. Willing to help any way they could (3:9, 13-15)
C. From all walks of life: fishermen, tax collectors, political radicals, and several others about whom we know nothing but their names (3:16-19)
II. The examiners (3:7b-8, 10-12) – these were the “great multitude” drawn by what they have heard
A. Different motivations (3:6, 7b-8, 10)
B. Others already had their chance, but rejected God during their lifetime (3:11-12; cf. Hebrews 9:27-28)
Have you ever thought about how your outlook colors your opinion? If you look for the bad in someone, you’re going to find it. But if you look for the good, you can usually find it.
The Jewish leaders of the first century had a negative opinion of anyone who challenged their power, and were always on the lookout for reasons to reject a person who drew attention away from their authority and leadership.
The scribes and Pharisees were very interested in what Jesus said and did, but not for the right reasons. They weren’t seeking truth; they wanted to diminish his popularity among the people. “So they watched Him closely…so that they might accuse Him.”
Jesus turned the situation around on them, asking, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” They couldn’t answer His question without revealing their evil intentions. The Lord did what needed to be done—He healed the man.
Notice the Savior’s attitude toward the hard-hearted Pharisees. He “looked around at them with anger,” but also He was “grieved.” Anger because they should have known better, and grief because He knew the end result of their attitude.
Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)
Mark 4:25. “For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
Pray for a proper attitude, thinking the best of others and giving them the benefit of the doubt whenever possible.
But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12)