Mark 2:9
Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Your sins be forgiven you; or to say, Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?
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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.Their faith - Their confidence or belief that he could heal them.

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.

We never saw it on this fashion - Literally, "We never saw it so." We never saw anything like this.

9. Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee—or "are forgiven thee";

or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed and walk?—"Is it easier to command away disease than to bid away sin? If, then, I do the one which you can see, know thus that I have done the other, which you cannot see."

See Poole on "Mark 2:1" Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy,.... This question was put to them by Christ, in order to prove his deity, and clear himself from the charge of blasphemy; for he that could cure the sick of the palsy, by a word speaking, had power to forgive him his sins: and therefore proposes it to them, which was easiest to say,

thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? Both of them were easy to say, but not with power and effect: they were both instances of divine power, and proofs of deity; and only he that could do the one, could do the other, and the one was as easy to be performed, by a divine person, as the other: and though it may be hard to say which is the greatest instance of power, or the strongest proof of deity, to pardon a sinner, or to cure a paralytic by a word speaking; perhaps forgiveness of sin may be the greatest evidence of divine power and goodness; however, it is certain, it is a greater blessing to be pardoned, than to be cured of a palsy; yet curing of a palsy, in the manner in which Christ did it, was a more sensible proof of his deity to the Scribes and Pharisees, than pronouncing a man's sins forgiven; because this was visible, and could not be denied; whereas the other, though pronounced, they might question whether it had its effect: but by the one, which they would see done before their eyes, there would be left no room for them to doubt of the reality of the other; See Gill on Matthew 9:5.

Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
Mark 2:9-10, vide notes on Mt.9. Whether is it easier] Observe what is here contrasted, Not, “Which is easier, to forgive sin or to raise a paralytic?” but “Which is easier, to claim this power or claim that; to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee, or to say, Arise and walk”? as He had already said to the impotent man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:8).Walk (περιπάτει).

Lit., walk about.

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