Mark 2:3

Mark 2:3

And they came unto him
A considerable body of people, townsmen, friends, and relations of the person after mentioned:

bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four;
carried by four men upon their shoulders, as if he was a dead carcass; so weak and enfeebled was he by his disease, that he could not walk, or be otherwise brought; or rather upon a bed, which four men, at the four comers of it, carried in their hands; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "four men carried him on a bed"; and certain it is, by what follows, that he was brought upon a bed. This man's case appears to be a very bad one, and what seems to be incurable by the art of medicine: it was not a slight touch of the palsy, but a general one, which had deprived him of motion and sensation. The palsy is a disease, whereby the body, or some of its parts, lose their motion, and sometimes their sensation or feeling: the causes of it are an impeded influx of the nervous spirits into the villi, or the muscles, or of the arterious blood into their vessels; which may happen from some fault either in the brain, the nerves, muscles, or their vessels. The palsy is said to be "perfect", or complete, when there is a privation of motion and sensation at the same time; "imperfect", when one of the two is destroyed, the other remaining. The palsy again is either "universal, lateral", or "partial". The "universal" palsy, called also "paraplegia", or "paraplexia", is a general immobility of all the muscles that receive nerves from the cerebrum, or cerebellum, except those of the head--its cause is usually supposed to reside in the ventricles of the brain, or in the root of the spinal marrow.--The "lateral" palsy, called also "hemiplegia", is the same disease with the "paraplegia", only that it affects but one side of the body. Its cause is the same, only restrained to one side of the brain, or spinal marrow. The "partial" palsy is where some particular part, or member, alone is affected; as, for instance, where the motion of the arm, or leg, is destroyed {z}. Now this man's disease seems to be the perfect and general palsy, which affects the whole body, or the "paraplegia", which reaches every part but the head; whereby all sense, as well as motion, are destroyed, and sometimes only one of them: but in this case it seems as if both of them were lost: that he was motionless, is clear from his being carried by four persons; and it looks as if he had lost his feeling, since he is not said to be grievously tormented, as the centurion's servant is said to be, ( Matthew 8:6 ) , whose disease seems to have been of the partial or imperfect kind; or however, though it deprived him of motion, yet not of sensation; his might be a kind of scorbutic palsy. This man is an emblem of a sinner in a state of nature, who is insensible of his condition, of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, of his danger and misery to which he is exposed, of his lost and undone state, of the necessity of the new birth, and of the need of salvation by Jesus Christ; and who, as he is destitute of spiritual life, can have no spiritual motion to come to Christ for life and salvation, or any spiritual strength and activity to move in, or perform any thing that is spiritually good: and as the friends of this man took him, and brought him to Christ, and laid him down before him, hoping he might receive a cure from him, though from what appears, it was unasked by him, as he did; so it becomes the friends and relations of unregenerate persons, who have received the grace of God themselves, and are in a sound and safe estate, to be concerned for them; to bring them under the means of grace, where they may be brought to a sense of their sins, and to a comfortable view of the free and full forgiveness of them, as this man: and this should be done, even though there may be difficulties in the accomplishment of it, as there were in this case, as is manifest from what follows.


FOOTNOTES:

F26 Chambers's Cyclopaedia, in the word "palsy".
Read Mark 2:3