2:1 And when he entered again into Capernaum after some days1, it was noised that he was in the house2. JESUS HEALS A PARALYTIC AT CAPERNAUM. Matthew 9:2-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26
And when he entered again into Capernaum after some days. Luke uses
the general expression "those days" (Luke
5:17), referring to the early portion of our Lord's ministry in Galilee.
Mark says, "some days", which implies the lapse of a considerable
It was noised that he was in the house. The healing of the leper
created such excitement that for some time, several weeks, Jesus kept out of
the cities. He now, after the excitement has subsided, quietly enters
Capernaum, and probably goes to the house of Simon Peter, now looked upon as
his head quarters in Capernaum (Mark
1:29). His entrance into Capernaum marks the end of his first missionary
tour through Galilee.
2:2 And many were
gathered together, so that there was no longer room [for them], no, not even
about the door1: and he spake the
word unto them2.
And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room [for
them], no, not even about the door. Oriental houses are one or two
storied structures, built in the form of a square, or rectangle, with an
open space in the center called the court. They have one door which opens
from the street into an open space called the porch, and this porch in turn
opens upon the court. In this porch there is usually a stairway leading to
the roof. The roofs are invariably flat, and are surrounded by a breastwork
or parapet to keep those on them from falling off. Roofs or housetops are
used as we use yards, only they are somewhat private. Some think that this
house was a two-storied structure, and that Jesus was teaching in the upper
room or second story. If this were so, there would have been little profit
to the people who clung about the street door, for they could neither see
nor hear. Besides, a two-storied house would probably have been beyond the
means of Simon Peter. It is more likely that Jesus was in the room opposite
the porch across the court. If so, the crowd at the door might catch an
occasional word, or by tiptoeing obtain a momentary glance; and thus fan the
hope of some ultimate satisfaction.
And he spake the word unto them. The gospel is here called the
"word", for it is the Word among words, as the Bible is the Book
2:3 And they come,
bringing unto him a man sick of the palsy1, borne
And they come, bringing unto him a man sick of the palsy.
"Palsy" is an abbreviation of the word "paralysis". It
is caused by a cessation of the nervous activities. See Matthew
Borne of four. In the East bedsteads were practically unknown. An
Oriental bed is a thin mattress, or pallet, just large enough for a man to
lie upon; and those generally used by the poor today are made of sheepskin
with the wool on it. Such a bed could be easily carried by four men, if each
took hold of a corner.
2:4 And when they
could not come nigh unto him for the crowd1, they
uncovered the roof where he was2: and
when they had broken it up, they let down the bed whereon the sick of the palsy
And when they could not come nigh unto him for the crowd. To these
four who sought Jesus it seemed a case of now or never. If they waited till
another season, Jesus might withdraw himself again for "some
days", or the palsied man might die. "Now" is always the day
They uncovered the roof where he was. Some have thought that
removing the roof merely means that they took away the awning over the
court, and also that the removal of the tile merely means that they took
down the parapet or wall which prevented people from falling from the roof
into the court. But the language is strongly against such a construction. An
awning is not a roof, and it is rolled up, not "broken up".
Moreover, the man was let down "through the tiling" (Luke
5:19), which seems to indicate that the remaining tiles encased an
opening through which he was lowered. The tiles were plates of burnt clay,
suitable for roofing rather than for building walls or parapets.
And when they had broken it up, they let down the bed whereon the sick
of the palsy lay. We are not told in what part of the house Jesus stood,
but evidently an opening was made in the flat roof above him, and the man
was lowered to the floor in front of Jesus by means of short straps or
pieces of rope fastened to the four corners of the bed. A stout parapet
would have aided rather than hindered, if the body had been lowered into the
2:5 And Jesus
seeing their faith1 saith unto
the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven2.
And Jesus seeing their faith. The four friends of the sick man
showed their faith by those bold and persistent efforts which took liberties
with the house of a neighbor; and the palsied man showed his faith by
consenting to the extraordinary means employed in his behalf.
Saith unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins are forgiven. The
affectionate address, "Son", might have ordinarily surprised the
Jewish doctors, who held themselves too far removed from sinners to speak
thus familiarly with them.