Mark 2:9-11 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy,

KJV Verse: 

Mark 2:9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, [Your] sins be forgiven you; or to say, Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?
Mark 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins,
Mark 2:11 I say unto you, Arise, and take up your bed, and go your way into your house.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

What is easier to keep saying to the paralyzed, "Mistakes are left behind," or to say, "Wake up and lift up your mattress and walk around? But so you see that the power of the son of man on earth is to let loose mistakes, I say, "Wake up and take your mattress and go away to your house."

Hidden Meaning: 


Christ is addressing us all as "the paralyzed." His message in Mark so far has repeated the idea that we are drowning, possessed, and rotting. Here he adds the further idea that we are paralyzed. Like someone paralyzed, we worry about words and the past instead of waking up, acting, and getting back to our relationship with one another.

Notice the pattern. These three cure stories cover the three areas that of our lives that Christ repeats again and again: the mental, the emotional, and the physical. The possessed man was handicapped mentally. The leper was the social outcast, cut off from relationships. Here, the paralyzed man is physically handicapped.

Christ here is again demonstrating that words and ideas must lead to action and action to relationships. Words that enable action have power. In this case, Christ's words lead to the paralyzed man being able to walk. Where must he walk to? He must return to his home, that is, to his family. Note that the leper was not sent home because to be welcomed back into society, he had to go through the cleansing ritual. So he was sent to the priest. Our words and thoughts about past mistakes serve no purpose. It is what we do from now on that matters.

What is the paralyzed man instructed to do? First, he must wake up, come alive mentally. Then he must pick up his mattress. The man's mattress is what keeps him comfortable while talking no action. When he actually takes action, it become a physical burden. Then, he must go home, get back to his relationships.

As with the man cleansed leprosy, Christ tells him to go away, to get on with his life. He asked none of these three men to stay with him and learn more. In having their ability to act and live in society returned to them, they have what Christ provides. It isn't the knowledge. It is the understanding that life is more than it seems and that we must take advantage of our ability to live.

Notice that nowhere so far is Christ preaching that these men must believe in God or believe in him. He is preaching the belief in the rewards of bringing good news to others, being productive in our lives, creating value for others. Faith is important, but Christ was definitely not a faith healer, asking people to believe so that they may be cured.

As in the other Gospels, religious authorities, the scribes, are part of the problem, not part of the solution. In curing the leper, that priest played an important role of cleansing the man for his return to society. Here, however, we see the fault of religious leaders, worrying more about what is said than what is accomplished through action.


"Whether" is from tis, which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "many a one", "whoever," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who," or "what."

"Easier" is from euphulaktos (euphulaktos), which means "easy to keep," or "easy to guard."

"Say" is from the word epo, which means "to speak" or "to say" (from epos, which means "word').

"To the sick with palsy" is from paralutikos (paralutikos) which means "paralytic."

"Arise" is from egeirô (egeiro), which means "to awake", "to rouse", "to stir up" and "to wake up."

"Take up" is from airo, which primarily means "to lift," and also means "to raise up", "to take up", "to raise a child", "to exalt", "to lift and take away," and "to remove."

"Bed" is from krabbatos (krabbatos), which means "couch", "mattress," and "pallet."

"Walk" is from peripateô (peripateo), which means "to walk up and down", "to walk about," and "to walk about while teaching."

"Know" is from eido (eido), which means "to see", "to examine," and "to know." Not to be confuses with another word translated as "to know," gignôskô (ginosko) which means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

"Power" is from exousia ( exousia ), which means "control", "the power of choice", "permission", "the power of authority", "the right of privilege", "abundance of means," and "abuse of power."

"On" is from epi (epi), which means "upon", "at", "by", "to", "over", "against", "in the time of," and "for."

"Forgiven" is from aphiêmi (aphiemi), which means "to let fall", "to send away", "to let loose", "to get rid of", "to leave alone", "to pass by", "to permit," and "to send forth from oneself." this is the same word that is translated as "leave" and "forgive" in the New Test

"Sins" is from the Greek hamartia, which means "to miss the mark", "failure", "fault," and "error." Only in religious uses does it become "guilt" and "sin."

"Go your way" is from hupagô (hupago), which means "to lead under", "to bring under", "to bring a person before judgment", "to lead on by degrees", "to take away from beneath", "to withdraw", "to go away", "to retire", "to draw off," and "off with you."

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