The history of this miracle is reported by Mar_2:3-12; by Luke, Luk_5:18-26; by both with more circumstances than Matthew doth report it. Mark saith, He entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was not room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they came unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was; and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee, Mar_2:1-5. Luke mentions not the place, nor our Saviour’s being preaching, but saith, And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in, they went upon the house top, and let him down through the thing with his couch into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee, Luk_5:18-20. All interpreters agree it to be the same history. Mark, in his preface to the report of the miracle, tells us where Christ was, viz. in Capernaum; what he was doing, preaching the word; the occasion of the people breaking up the roof of the house, viz. the press of the people, so as they could not come nigh to Christ. All three evangelists agree the sick man’s disease to be the palsy, which being the resolution of the nerves, besides the pain that attends it, debilitates the person, and confines him to his bed, or couch, which was the reason of his being brought in his bed, and by four men. All the evangelists mention Jesus seeing their faith, their inward persuasion of his Divine power, and their confidence in his goodness, both the faith of the sick person and of those who brought him. He saw it in their hearts, for the inward principles and habits are not visible to us, yet they are seen and known to him who searcheth the heart, and knoweth what is in the heart of man. He saw it in the fruits, their endeavouring to lay him before Christ. He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee. But what was this to his palsy? Our Saviour by this lets him, and those who brought him, know,
1. That sin is the root from which our evils spring.
2. That being forgiven, bodily distempers (how fatal soever) can do a man no hurt.
3. That his primary end of coming into the world was to save his people from their sins.
4. That in the hour wherein remission of sins is granted to a soul, it becomes God’s son, dear to Christ.
5. That remission of sins followeth the exercise of faith in Christ.
6. Possibly he begins with this to give the scribes and Pharisees occasion of some discourse.