When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the sick of the palsy, Son, your sins be forgiven you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Mark 2:5-12. When Jesus saw their faith — The faith of the bearers of the paralytic, as well as of the paralytic himself, manifested by their making these extraordinary efforts to bring him to Jesus, he had compassion on the afflicted person, and, previously to his cure, declared publicly that his sins were forgiven. But there were certain of the scribes, &c. — See whence the first offence cometh! — As yet not one of the plain, unlettered people, were offended. They all rejoiced in the light, till these men of learning came, to put darkness for light, and light for darkness. We to all such blind guides! Good had it been for these if they had never been born. O God, let me never offend one of thy simple ones! Sooner let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth! These scribes, hearing what Christ said, were exceedingly provoked. And though they did not openly find fault, they said in their own minds, or, perhaps, whispered to one another, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? — “The word βλασφημια, blasphemy, in profane writings, signifies slander, calumny, or any kind of opprobrious language. But in Scripture it denotes opprobrious speeches against God’s being, attributes, or operations, such as when we ascribe to God the infirmities of men, or to men the perfections and operations of God; it signifies also irreverent speeches, addressed immediately to God, such as when we curse God, as Job’s wife desired him to do.” — Macknight. The meaning of the word here is, Why doth this fellow arrogantly assume to himself what belongs to God? a sense which it has 16:65, and in other passages. These Pharisees and teachers of the law, being ignorant of our Lord’s divinity, thought he was guilty of blasphemy in pretending to forgive the man his sins, because it was an assuming of what God had declared to be his incommunicable prerogative, Isaiah 43:25. Whereupon Jesus, knowing all that passed, immediately reasoned with them on the subject of their thoughts, by which he gave them to understand that it was impossible for any thought to come into their minds without his knowledge, and consequently proved himself to be endued with the omniscient Spirit of God. He next demonstrated, by what he said to them, that the power he claimed did really belong to him, demanding, Whether is it easier to say — Namely, with authority, so as to effect what is said; Thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say, (to command, as the word ειπειν often signifies,) Arise and walk — That is, whether is easier, to forgive sins, or to remove that which is inflicted as their punishment? The Pharisees could not but be sensible that these things were one and the same, and therefore they ought to have acknowledged that the power which did the one could really do the other also. If it be objected to this, that the prophets of old wrought miraculous cures of diseases, but never claimed the power of forgiving sins, neither could claim it; the answer is, that the cases are widely different; none of the prophets ever pretended to work miracles by his own power, as Jesus did. The Pharisees making no answer, Jesus, without troubling himself any further, (except to tell them, that what he was about to do would demonstrate his power on earth to forgive sins,) turned to the paralytic, and bade him rise up and carry away his bed. And the words were no sooner pronounced, than the cure was accomplished: the man was made active and strong in an instant. He arose, took up his bed with surprising vigour, and went off, astonished in himself, and raising astonishment in all who beheld him. The Pharisees indeed, it seems, were only confounded; but the rest of the people were not only struck with amazement, but affected with a high degree of reverence for God, and admiration of his power and goodness, glorifying him, and saying, We never saw it on this fashion!
Son - Literally, "child." The Hebrews used the words "son" and "child" with a great latitude of signification. They were applied to children, to grandchildren, to adopted children, to any descendants, to disciples, followers, young people, and to dependents. See the notes at Matthew 1:1. In this place it denotes affection or kindness. It was a word of consolation - an endearing appellation, applied by the Saviour to the sick man to show his "compassion," to inspire confidence, and to assure him that he would heal him.
he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son—"be of good cheer" (Mt 9:2).
thy sins be forgiven thee—By the word "be," our translators perhaps meant "are," as in Luke (Lu 5:20). For it is not a command to his sins to depart, but an authoritative proclamation of the man's pardoned state as a believer. And yet, as the Pharisees understood our Lord to be dispensing pardon by this saying, and Jesus not only acknowledges that they were right, but founds His whole argument upon the correctness of it, we must regard the saying as a royal proclamation of the man's forgiveness by Him to whom it belonged to dispense it; nor could such a style of address be justified on any lower supposition. (See on Lu 7:41, &c.).See Poole on "Mark 2:1"
He said unto the sick of the palsy, son, thy sins be forgiven thee; pointing and striking at the root of his disorder, his sins. Christ calls him son, though, in this afflicted condition a person may be a child of God, and yet greatly afflicted by him; afflictions are not arguments against, but rather for sonship: "for what son is he whom the Father chasteneth not?" He scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, and by chastising them, dealeth with them as with sons; and such as are without chastisement are bastards, and not sons, Hebrews 12:6, yea he calls him a son, though a sinful creature, and who had not, as yet, until these words were spoken by Christ, any discovery and application of pardoning grace unto him: he was a son of God by divine predestination, being predestinated to the adoption of children: he was a son by virtue of the covenant of grace, he was interested in, as appears by his enjoying pardon of sin, a blessing of it; which runs thus, "I will be their Father, and they shall be my sons and daughters", 2 Corinthians 6:18. He was one of the children which were given to Christ as in such a relation: and for the sake of whom Christ was now a partaker of flesh and blood, and in a little time was to die for them, in order to gather them together, who were scattered abroad. The blessing Christ conferred on this poor man is of the greatest consequence and importance, forgiveness of sin: it is what springs from the grace and mercy of God; it is provided in a promise in the covenant of grace; Christ was sent to shed his blood to procure it, in a way consistent with the holiness and justice of God; and this being done, it is published in the Gospel, and is a most considerable article in it, and than which, nothing can be more desirable to a sensible sinner: and blessed are they that are partakers of it, their sins will never be imputed to them; they will never be remembered more; they are blotted out of God's book of debts; they are covered out of his sight, and are removed as far as the east is from the west, even all their sins, original and actual, secret or open, of omission, or commission; See Gill on Matthew 9:2.When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 2:5. τὴν πίστιν α., their faith, that of the bearers, shown by their energetic action, the sick man not included (οὐ τὴν πίστιν τοῦ παραλελυμένου ἀλλὰ τῶν κομισάντων, Victor Ant., Cramer, Cat.).—τέκνον, child, without the cheering θάρσει of Mt.5. their faith] The faith of all, of the paralytic himself and those that bore him. The Holy One did not reject this “charitable work” of theirs in bringing him before Him, any more than He does that of those who bring infants to Him in Holy Baptism.
Son] St Luke, Luke 5:20, gives the words thus, “Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” St Mark has preserved to us the tenderer word, even as St Matthew has done in his account (Matthew 9:22).
thy sins] His sufferings may have been due to sinful excesses. Comp. the words of the Saviour to the man, who had an infirmity thirty and eight years, “Behold thou art made whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee,” John 5:14. At any rate his consciousness of sin was such that it was necessary to speak to his soul before healing was extended to his body. See Luke 7:48.
be forgiven] The mood here is not optative but indicative. Thy sins are, or rather, have been forgiven thee.Mark 2:5. Πίστιν, their faith) So painstaking.Verse 5. - Son, thy sins be forgiven thee; literally, thy sins are forgiven. The word "son" is in the Greek the more endearing word (τέκνον) "child." St. Luke uses the word "man." St. Matthew adds the words "Be of good cheer." It is here to be carefully observed that the spiritual gift, the gift of forgiveness, is first conveyed; and we must also notice the authoritative character of the address, "Thy sins are forgiven." Bede observes here that our Lord first forgives his sins, that he might show him that his suffering was ultimately due to sin. Bede also says that he was borne of four, to show that a man is carried onwards by four graces to the assured hope of healing, namely, by prudence, and courage, and righteousness, and temperance. Jesus seeing their faith. Some of the Fathers, as Jerome and Ambrose, think that this faith was in the behavers of the sick man, and in them only. But there is nothing in the words to limit them in this way. Indeed, it would seem far more natural to suppose that the paralytic must have been a consenting party. He must have approved of all that they did, otherwise we can hardly suppose that it would have been done. We may therefore more reasonably conclude, with St. Chrysostom, that it was alike their faith and his that our Lord crowned with his blessing. Thy sins are forgiven. These words of our Lord were not a mere wish only; they were this sick man's sentence of absolution. They were far more than the word of absolution which Christ's ambassadors are authorized to deliver to all those who "truly repent and unfeignedly believe." For Christ could read the heart, which they cannot do. And therefore his sentence is absolute, and not conditional only. It is not the announcement of a qualified gift, but the assertion of an undoubted fact. In his own name, and by his own inherent power, he there and then forgives the man his sins.
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