In Matthew 12:32 what does the phrase "either in this age or in the age to come" mean? Why in this age?
Biblical history can be viewed as divided in to three ages (long, indeterminate periods of time).
- Patriarchical Age - This was the time when the head of the family (the patriarch) was in charge of the family's worship. You can see this in Job or Abraham, who built altars to offer sacrifices to God. Instruction was given directly to the patriarch.
- Mosaical Age - This was the era when God selected one nation to be His special people. He gave them a written code of laws and dealt with the people through prophets.
- Christian Age - This is the last age of the world (I Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 9:26). The Son of God came directly into the world and taught a law that would then apply to all the people of the world. This law was record by the apostles and prophets.
Jesus lived under the Mosaical age. The Christian age started at his death (Ephesians 2:11-18; Colossians 2:11-15). Thus, Jesus' statement is that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (purposeful lying about the Holy Spirit and his word to prevent people from believing in the Holy Spirit) was something a person would not repent of both under the Law of Moses and later under the Law of Christ.