Mark 2:5
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.

2:1-12 It was this man's misery that he needed to be so carried, and shows the suffering state of human life; it was kind of those who so carried him, and teaches the compassion that should be in men, toward their fellow-creatures in distress. True faith and strong faith may work in various ways; but it shall be accepted and approved by Jesus Christ. Sin is the cause of all our pains and sicknesses. The way to remove the effect, is to take away the cause. Pardon of sin strikes at the root of all diseases. Christ proved his power to forgive sin, by showing his power to cure the man sick of the palsy. And his curing diseases was a figure of his pardoning sin, for sin is the disease of the soul; when it is pardoned, it is healed. When we see what Christ does in healing souls, we must own that we never saw the like. Most men think themselves whole; they feel no need of a physician, therefore despise or neglect Christ and his gospel. But the convinced, humbled sinner, who despairs of all help, excepting from the Saviour, will show his faith by applying to him without delay.When Jesus saw their faith,.... The faith of the sick man, and his friends, who seemed confident, that could they get at Christ, a cure would be wrought: the faith of the one appears in suffering himself to be brought in such a manner, under so much weakness; and with so much trouble; and of the other in bringing him, and breaking through so many difficulties to get him to Christ.

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.

Mark 2:4
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