5:23 Which is easier, 1 to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? 5:24 But so that you may know 2 that the Son of Man 3 has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he said to the paralyzed man 4 – “I tell you, stand up, take your stretcher 5 and go home.” 6 5:25 Immediately 7 he stood up before them, picked 8 up the stretcher 9 he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying 10 God.
1 sn Which is easier is a reflective kind of question. On the one hand to declare sins are forgiven is easier, since one does not need to see it, unlike telling a paralyzed person to walk. On the other hand, it is harder, because for it to be true one must possess the authority to forgive the sin.
2 sn Now Jesus put the two actions together. The walking of the man would be proof (so that you may know) that his sins were forgiven and that God had worked through Jesus (i.e., the Son of Man).
3 sn The term Son of Man, which is a title in Greek, comes from a pictorial description in Dan 7:13 of one “like a son of man” (i.e., a human being). It is Jesus’ favorite way to refer to himself. Jesus did not reveal the background of the term here, which mixes human and divine imagery as the man in Daniel rides a cloud, something only God does. He just used it. It also could be an idiom in Aramaic meaning either “some person” or “me.” So there is a little ambiguity in its use here, since its origin is not clear at this point. However, the action makes it clear that Jesus used it to refer to himself here.
4 tn Grk “to the one who was paralyzed”; the Greek participle is substantival and has been simplified to a simple adjective and noun in the translation.
sn Jesus did not finish his sentence with words but with action, that is, healing the paralytic with an accompanying pronouncement to him directly.
6 tn Grk “to your house.”
7 tn Grk “And immediately.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
8 tn Grk “and picked up.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because contemporary English normally places a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series.
9 tn Grk “picked up what he had been lying on”; the referent of the relative pronoun (the stretcher) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
10 sn Note the man’s response, glorifying God. Joy at God’s work is also a key theme in Luke: 2:20; 4:15; 5:26; 7:16; 13:13; 17:15; 18:43; 23:47.