Chapter
Verse

Matthew 9:2

ESV And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”
NIV Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, 'Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.'
NASB And they brought to Him a paralyzed man lying on a stretcher. And seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man who was paralyzed, 'Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.'
CSB Just then some men brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, "Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven."
NLT Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, 'Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.'
KJV And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

What does Matthew 9:2 mean?

Here, again, Jesus reveals how deeply He cares about the trusting belief of those who come to Him for help. He is impressed by the faith of the people who brought their paralyzed friend. We know from Mark (Mark 2:1–12) and Luke (Luke 5:17–26) that these friends went to extremes to get the man in front of Jesus. The house Jesus was in was packed with people listening to Him teach. The friends climbed up on the house, removed some of the roof, and lowered their friend, still on his bed, down through the hole to put him in front of Jesus (Mark 2:4).

Jesus, responding to their faith, tells the man to "take heart." This is from the Greek root term tharseō, the same word used when Jesus reassured the disciples as He walked on water (Mark 6:50) and when encouraging believers to endure under persecution (John 16:33). The reason for this remark is probably related to the next thing Jesus mentions: the man's sins.

This is unusual among all the reports of Jesus' healings. Instead of healing the man immediately, Jesus first addresses his sin. That suggests that in this case, the man's physical condition was connected to his personal sinful choices. Christ's suggestion that the man "take heart" might have been a way of addressing his shame or embarrassment. Of course, sin is not the immediate cause of every injury or illness (John 9:1–3). This time, though, Jesus recognized the man's sin as a more urgent need than his paralysis.

As expected, this statement is met with controversy from the local religious leaders.
Expand
Expand
Expand
What is the Gospel?
Download the app: