Matthew 9:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 9:5, NIV: Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?

Matthew 9:5, ESV: For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?

Matthew 9:5, KJV: For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?

Matthew 9:5, NASB: For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?

Matthew 9:5, NLT: Is it easier to say 'Your sins are forgiven,' or 'Stand up and walk'?

Matthew 9:5, CSB: For which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?

What does Matthew 9:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus has confronted some scribes, religious leaders and teachers of the law, who heard Him tell a paralyzed man that his sins were forgiven (Matthew 9:2). They accused Jesus, quietly and to each other, of blasphemy for claiming to do something only God could do. Jesus has accused them, aloud and in front of everyone, of thinking evil in their hearts for questioning His identity (Matthew 9:3–4).

Now He asks the scribes if it is easier to say, "your sins are forgiven," or "rise and walk"? By this, Jesus is making two points. First, it's "easier" to claim to have forgiven someone's sins, since there's no way to physically test such a claim. Claiming the power to instantly heal a paralyzed man, on the other hand, is more "difficult," as it invites proof. His purpose is to demonstrate to these unbelieving religious leaders that the power He has been showing them is the evidence that He is truly the Messiah and Son of God. That status includes the authority to forgive sins on earth (Matthew 9:6–7).