Luke 5:24

ESV But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”
NIV But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.' So he said to the paralyzed man, 'I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.'
NASB But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,' He said to the man who was paralyzed, 'I say to you, get up, and pick up your stretcher, and go home.'
CSB But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he told the paralyzed man, "I tell you: Get up, take your stretcher, and go home."
NLT So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.' Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 'Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!'
KJV But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.

What does Luke 5:24 mean?

In response to an expression of faith, Jesus has forgiven a paralyzed man of his sins in front of Pharisees and scribes (Luke 5:17–20). The religious leaders silently (Mark 2:6–7) conclude that Jesus is committing blasphemy by assuming the authority to speak for God. Jesus knows their thoughts. To provide evidence that He has the authority to forgive sins, He heals the man (Luke 5:21–23).

The Pharisees are a sect of Judaism that reveres the Oral Law. These are extra-biblical rules that supposedly explain how to follow the Mosaic law. In the second century, when Jews were scattered, rabbis compiled the Oral Law into written form in the Talmud and Mishnah. The Nedarim, the portion of the extra-biblical law that deals with keeping vows, says, "The sick person recovers from his illness only when the heavenly court forgives him for all his sins."

The Talmud and Mishnah are not written in the time of Christ, but they reflect the convictions of that era's experts of the law. According to their own beliefs, the scribes should accept that if the man is healed his sins have been forgiven. That is not true, of course, but it's a cultural point Jesus leverages to challenge their prejudice. God is not limited to healing only believers, but the scribes think so. Ultimately, the core issue isn't blasphemy, as they claim (Luke 22:70–71); it is envy (Matthew 27:18).

Jesus calls Himself the "Son of Man" nearly ninety times in the New Testament and more than two dozen times in the gospel of Luke. The term has two different meanings. Most generically, "son of man" refers to a human male (Numbers 23:19; Job 16:21; Ezekiel 2:1). When Jesus calls Himself the "Son of Man," He is referring to the humanity which God the Son humbly took on. Daniel 7:13–14, however, reveals a different application. One who comes "like a son of man" will be given dominion over all the people and nations of the earth by the Ancient of Days. Jesus is the Son of Man because He is human, but the Ancient of Days will give Him everlasting authority; part of that authority is the right to forgive sins.
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