And behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy,
&c.] That is, some of the inhabitants of Capernaum, four men of that city particularly; for Mark says, ( Mark 2:3 ) he "was borne of four": these brought him to Jesus,
lying on a bed,
or couch, he being so enfeebled by the disease upon him, his nerves so weak, and the members of his body in such a tremor, that he was not able to walk himself, nor even to be carried by others in any other way than this.
And Jesus seeing their faith;
the faith of the bearers of him, his friends, who brought out a man to be healed, who was otherwise incurable; and though they could not, for the multitude, bring him directly to Christ, they were not discouraged, but took the pains to carry him to the top of the house, and there let him down through the roof, or tiling; as both Mark and Luke say; and then set him down before him, believing he was able to cure him: moreover, Christ took notice not only of their faith, but of the sick man's too, who suffered himself to be brought out in this condition, and was contented to go through so much fatigue and trouble, to get at him; when he
said unto the sick of the palsy, son, be of good cheer, thy sins are
He calls him son, either meaning by it no more than "man"; see ( Luke 5:20 ) or using it as a kind, tender, and endearing appellation; or as considering him in the grace of adoption, as one that God had put among the children, had given to him as such, and whom he should bring to glory. He bids him "be of good cheer", whose animal spirits were fainting through the disease that was upon him, and the fatigue he had underwent in being brought to him; and his soul more distressed and dejected, under a sense of his sins and transgressions; which Jesus knowing, very pertinently says, "thy sins be forgiven thee"; than which, nothing could be more cheering and reviving to him: or Christ says this to show, that sin was the cause of the disease and affliction that were upon him, for (Nwe alb) (Nyrwoy Nya) , "there are no chastisements without sin", as the Jews say F6; and that the cause being removed, the effects would cease; of both which he might be assured, and therefore had good reason to cheer up, and be of good heart. This was a wonderful instance of the grace of Christ, to bestow a blessing unasked, and that of the greatest moment and importance.
F6 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 55. 1. Midrash Hohelet, fol. 70. 4. Tzeror. Hammor, fol. 99. 1.