Beda. Unius autem perfecta salvatio multas ad dominum cogit turbas; unde subditur ita ut iam non posset manifeste introire in civitatem, sed foris in desertis locis esset.
Bede: Further, this perfect cure of one man brought large multitudes to the Lord. Wherefore it is added, so that He could not any more openly enter into the city, but could only be without in desert places.
Chrysostomus. Leprosus enim ubique praedicabat mirabilem curationem, ita ut omnes currerent ad visum, et fidem curantis: ut propter hoc dominus in civitatibus evangelizare non posset, sed in eremis conversaretur; unde sequitur et conveniebant ad eum undique.
Chrysostom: For the leper every where proclaimed his wonderful cure, so that all ran to see and to believe on the Healer; thus the Lord could not preach the Gospel, but walked in desert places. Wherefore there follows, and they came together to Him from all places.
Hieronymus. Mystice lepra nostra peccatum primi hominis est, quae a capite coepit quando regna mundi desideravit: radix enim omnium malorum est cupiditas; unde Giezi avaritiam secutus lepra suffunditur.
Pseudo-Jerome: Mystically, our leprosy is the sin of the first man, which began from the head, when he [p. 36] desired the kingdom of the world. For covetousness is the root of all evil; wherefore Gehazi, engaged in an avaritious pursuit, is covered with leprosy.
Beda. Extenta vero manu salvatoris, hoc est incarnato Dei verbo, humanamque contingente naturam, ab erroris prisci varietate mundatur.
Bede: But when the hand of the Saviour, that is, the Incarnate Word of God, is stretched out, and touches human nature, it is cleansed from the various parts of the old error.
Hieronymus. Quae quidem lepra vero sacerdoti secundum ordinem Melchisedech ostensa, oblatione mundatur, eo dicente nobis: date eleemosynam, et omnia munda sunt vobis. Quod autem non poterat Iesus manifeste in civitatem introire, etc., significatur quod non omnibus manifestatus est Iesus, qui latis, atque plataneis serviunt laudibus, et propriis voluntatibus; sed his qui foras cum Petro exeunt, et in desertis locis sunt, quae elegit dominus ad orandum et reficiendum populum, qui scilicet deserunt delectationes mundi, et omnia quae possident, ut dicant: portio mea dominus. Gloria vero domini manifestatur his qui conveniunt undique, idest per plana, et ardua, quos nihil potest separare a caritate Christi.
Pseudo-Jerome: This leprosy is cleansed on offering an oblation to the true Priest after the order of Melchisedec; for He tells us, give alms of such things as ye have, and, behold, all things are clean unto you (Luke 11:41). But in that Jesus could not openly enter into the city, it is meant to be conveyed that Jesus is not manifested to those who are enslaved to the love of praise in the broad highway, and to their own wills, but to those who with Peter go into the desert, which the Lord chose for prayer, and for refreshing His people; that is, those who quit the pleasures of the world, and all that they possess, that they may say, the Lord is my portion. But the glory of the Lord is manifested to those, who meet together on all sides, that is, through smooth ways and steep, whom nothing can separate from the love of Christ (Rom 8:35).
Beda. Post factum etiam in civitate miraculum secedit dominus in desertum, ut ostendat se magis quietam, et a saeculi curis remotam diligere vitam, atque ob huius appetitum se sanandis curam adhibere corporibus.
Bede, in Marc., i, 10: Even after working a miracle in that city, the Lord retires into the desert, to shew that He loves best a quiet life, and one far removed from the cares of the world, and that it is on account of this desire, He applied Himself to the healing of the body.
1 Et iterum intravit Capharnaum post dies,
1. And again He entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that He was in the house.
2 et auditum est quod in domo esset, et convenerunt multi, ita ut non caperet neque ad ianuam, et loquebatur eis verbum.
2. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and He preached the word unto them.
3 Et venerunt ad eum ferentes paralyticum, qui a quatuor portabatur.
3. And they came unto Him, bringing one sick of the palsy, who was carried by four.
4 Et cum non possent offerre eum illi prae turba, nudaverunt tectum ubi erat: et patefacientes submiserunt grabatum in quo paralyticus iacebat.
4. And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where He was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5 Cum autem vidisset Iesus fidem illorum, ait paralytico: Fili, dimittuntur tibi peccata tua.
5. When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee."
6 Erant autem illic quidam de scribis sedentes, et cogitantes in cordibus suis:
6. But there were certain of the Scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
7 Quid hic sic loquitur? blasphemat. Quis potest dimittere peccata, nisi solus Deus?
7. Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
8 Quo statim cognito Iesus spiritu suo, quia sic cogitarent intra se, dicit illis: Quid ista cogitatis in cordibus vestris?
8. And immediately when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, He said unto them, "Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
9 Quid est facilius dicere paralytico: Dimittuntur tibi peccata tua: an dicere: Surge, tolle grabatum tuum, et ambula?
9. Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
10 Ut autem sciatis quia Filius hominis habet potestatem in terra dimittendi peccata ( ait paralytico),
10. But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (He saith to the sick of the palsy,) [p. 38]
11 tibi dico: Surge, tolle grabatum tuum, et vade in domum tuam.
11. I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house."
12 Et statim surrexit ille: et, sublato grabato, abiit coram omnibus, ita ut mirarentur omnes, et honorificent Deum, dicentes: Quia numquam sic vidimus.
12. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, we never saw it on this fashion.
Beda. Quia nec carnales superna pietas deserit, quin etiam his gratiam suae visitationis, per quam et ipsi spiritales effici valeant, indulget; post desertum dominus redit in civitatem; unde dicitur et iterum intravit Capharnaum post dies octo.
Bede, in Marc., 1, 10: Because the compassion of God deserts not even carnal persons, He accords to them the grace of His presence, by which even they may be made spiritual. After the desert, the Lord returns into the city.
Augustinus de Cons. Evang. Matthaeus autem hoc miraculum quod sequitur, ita scribit tamquam in civitate domini factum sit, Marcus autem hoc in Capharnaum; quod difficilius solveretur, si Matthaeus etiam Nazareth nominaret. Nunc vero cum potuerit ipsa Galilaea dici civitas Christi, quia in Galilaea erat Nazareth; quis dubitaverit in civitate sua hoc fecisse dominum, cum hoc fecerit in Capharnaum civitate Galilaeae, praesertim quia et ipsa Capharnaum ita excellebat in Galilaea, ut tamquam metropolis haberetur? Vel Matthaeus praetermisit quae gesta sunt postquam venit in civitatem suam, donec veniret Capharnaum, et sic adiungit de sanato paralytico, subiungens: et ecce offerebant ei paralyticum, postquam dixerat, quod venit in civitatem suam.
Augustine, de Con. Evan., ii, 25: But Matthew writes this miracle as if it were done in the city of the Lord, whilst Mark places it in Capernaum, which would be more difficult of solution, if Matthew had also named Nazareth. But seeing that Galilee itself might be called the city of the Lord, who can doubt but that the Lord did these things in His own city, since He did them in Capernaum, a city of Galilee; particularly as Capernaum was of such importance in Galilee as to be called its metropolis? Or else, Matthew passed by the things which were done after He came into His own city, until He came to Capernaum, and so adds on the story of the paralytic healed, subjoining, and, behold, they presented to Him a man sick of the palsy, after he had said that He came into His own city. Wherefore it is said, and again He entered into Capernaum.
Chrysostomus in Matth. Vel Capharnaum civitatem eius dixit Matthaeus, eo quod saepius illuc ibat, ac multa ibidem miracula perpetrabat. Sequitur et auditum est quod in domo esset; et convenerunt multi, ita ut non caperet eos domus neque ad ianuam. Laborem enim accedendi desiderium audiendi superabat. Post hoc paralyticum introducunt, de quo et Matthaeus et Lucas dicunt; unde sequitur et venerunt ferentes ad eum paralyticum, qui a quatuor portabatur. Invenientesque multitudine ianuam obturatam, per eam non potuerunt aliquatenus introire; sperantes autem portatores eum qui portabatur curationis gratiam posse promereri, lectum cum onere sublevantes, nudato tecto intromiserunt cum lecto paralyticum ante faciem salvatoris: et hoc est quod subditur et cum non possent offerre eum, et cetera. Sequitur cum vidisset autem Iesus fidem illorum, ait paralytico: fili, dimittuntur tibi peccata tua. Non quidem dixit fidem paralytici, sed portantium: contingit enim aliquando quod aliquis fide alterius convalescit.
Pseudo-Chrysostom, Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Or else, Matthew called Capernaum His city because He went there frequently, and there did many miracles. It goes on: and it was noised that He was in the house. For the desire of hearing Him was stronger that the toil of approaching Him. After this, they introduce the paralytic, of whom Matthew and Luke speak; wherefore there follows: and they came unto Him bearing one sick of the palsy, who was carried by four. Finding the door blocked up by the crowd, they could not by any means enter that way. Those who carried him, however, hoping that he could merit the grace of being healed, raising the bed with their burden, and uncovering the roof, lay him with his bed before the face of the Saviour. And this is that which is added: and when they could not lay him before Him, for the press. There follows: but when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. He did not mean the faith of the sick man, but of his bearers; for it sometimes happens that a man is healed by the faith of another.
Beda. Intuendum sane quanti propria cuiuscumque fides apud Deum valeat, ubi tanti valuit aliena ut totus homo repente interius exteriusque salvatus exurgeret, et aliorum merito aliis relaxarentur errata.
Bede: It may indeed be seen how much each person's own faith weighs with God, when that of another had such influence that the whole man at once rose up, healed body and soul, and by one man's merit, another should have his sins forgiven him.
Theophylactus. Ipsius etiam paralytici fidem vidit: etenim ille portari non sineret, nisi curationis fidem haberet.
Theophylact: He saw the faith of the sick man himself, since he would not have allowed himself to be carried, unless he'd had faith to be healed.
Beda. Curaturus autem hominem a paralysi dominus primo peccatorum vincula dissolvit, ut ostenderet eum ob nexus culparum, artuum dissolutione fuisse damnatum, nec nisi his relaxatis membrorum posse recuperatione sanari. Mira autem humilitas: despectum et debilem, totisque membrorum dissolutum compagibus filium vocat, quem sacerdotes non dignarentur attingere: aut certe ideo filium, quia dimittuntur ei peccata sua. Sequitur erant autem illic quidam de Scribis sedentes et cogitantes in cordibus suis: quid hic loquitur? Blasphemat.
Bede: Moreover, the Lord being about to cure the man of the palsy, first loosed the chains of his sins, in order to shew that he was condemned to the loosening of his joints, because of the bonds of his sins, and could not be healed to the recovery of his limbs, unless these were first loosened. But Christ's wonderful humility calls this man, despised, weak, with all the joints of his limbs unstrung, a son, when the priests did not deign to touch him. Or at least, He therefore calls him a son because his sins are forgiven him. It goes on: but there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man speak blasphemies?
Cyrillus. Arguunt autem eum blasphemiae, mortis praecipitantes sententiam: erat enim in lege mandatum, quod quicumque blasphemaret in Deum, morte puniretur. Hoc autem ei imponebant, quia sibi attribuebat divinam potestatem remittendi peccata; unde subditur quis potest dimittere peccata nisi solus Deus? Solus enim iudex omnium potestatem habet dimittendi peccata.
Cyril [ed. note: Nicolai observes on this passage, Nihil tale occurrit in Cyrillo, tametsi blasphemiae ideo a Judaeis improperatae Christo meminit in Johannem, Lib. ii, e.3.]: Now they accuse Him of blasphemy, anticipating the sentence of His death: for there was a command in the Law, that whosoever blasphemed should be put to death. And this charge they laid upon Him, because He claimed for Himself the divine power of remitting sins. Wherefore it is added, who can forgive sin, save God only? For the Judge of all alone has power to forgive sin.
Beda. Qui per eos quoque dimittit quibus dimittendi tribuit potestatem: et ideo Christus vere Deus esse probatur, quia dimittere peccata quasi Deus potest. Errant itaque Iudaei, qui cum Christum et Deum esse, et peccatum dimittere posse credant, Iesum tamen Christum esse non credunt. Sed multo dementius errant Ariani, qui cum Iesum et Christum esse, et peccata posse dimittere, Evangelii verbis devicti negare non audeant: nihilominus Deum negare non timent. At ipse perfidos salvare desiderans et occultorum cognitione, et virtute operum Deum se esse manifestat; nam sequitur quo statim cognito Iesus spiritu suo, quia sic cogitarent intra se, dicit illis: quid ista cogitatis in cordibus vestris? In quo ostendit se Deum, qui potest cordis occulta cognoscere, et quodammodo tacens loquitur: eadem maiestate et potentia qua cogitationes vestras intueor, possum et hominibus delicta dimittere.
Bede: Who remits sin by those also to whom He has assigned the power of remitting, and therefore Christ is proved to be very God, for He is able to remit sins as God. The Jews then are in error, who although they hold the Christ both to be God, and to be able to remit sins, do not however believe that Jesus is the Christ. But the Arians err much more madly, who although overwhelmed with the words of the Evangelist, so that they cannot deny that Jesus is the Christ, and can remit sin, nevertheless fear not to deny that He is God. But He Himself, desiring to shame the traitors both by His knowledge of things hidden and by the virtue of His works, manifests Himself to be God. For there follows: and immediately when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they so reasoned, He said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? In which He shews Himself to be God, since He can know the hidden things of the heart; and in a manner though silent He speaks thus, With the same power and majesty, by which I look upon your thoughts, I can forgive the sins of men.
Theophylactus. Sed quamvis fuerint eorum cogitationes revelatae, tamen permanent insensibiles, non in hoc consentientes quod peccata valeat dimittere qui novit eorum corda; unde dominus certificat de curatione animae per curationem corporis, demonstrans per visibile invisibile, per id quod est facile difficilius: quamvis ipsi non ita crederent. Pharisaei enim difficilius credebant sanare corpus tamquam manifestum, animam vero curare facilius, quia invisibilis est medela; ita ut talia cogitarent: ecce corpus curare desinit, et invisibilem curat animam: magis autem si valuisset, corpus iam curasset et non ad invisibile refugisset. Salvator igitur, ostendens quod utraque potest, ait quid est facilius? Quasi dicat: ego quidem per corporis medelam, quae secundum veritatem facilior est, difficilior autem vobis videtur, ostendam vobis animae sanitatem, quae difficilior est.
Theophylact: But though their thoughts were laid bare, still they remain insensible, refusing to believe that He who knew their hearts could forgive sins, wherefore the Lord proves to them the cure of the soul by that of the body, shewing the invisible by the visible, that which is more difficult by that which is easier, although they did not look upon it as such. For the Pharisees thought it more difficult to heal the body, as being more open to view; but the soul more easy to cure, because the cure is invisible; so that they reasoned thus, Lo, He does not now cure the body, but heals the unseen soul; if He'd had more power, He would at once have cured the body, and not have fled for refuge to the unseen world. The Saviour, therefore, shewing that He can do both, says, which is easier? as if He said, I indeed by the healing of the body, which is in reality more easy, but appears to you more difficult, will prove to you the health of the soul, which is really more difficult.
Chrysostomus. Et quia dicere, quam facere facilius est, adhuc manifesta erat contradictio, quia opus nondum erat manifestum: unde subdit ut autem sciatis quia potestatem habet filius hominis, etc.; quasi dicat: quoniam de verbo diffiditis, operationem inducam, quod erat invisibile confirmantem. Signanter autem dicit in terra dimittendi peccata, ut ostenderet quod humanae naturae potestatem divinitatis univit indivisibili unione; quia etsi factus est homo, tamen Dei verbum permansit; et si per dispensationem in terris cum hominibus conversaretur, non tamen prohibebatur miracula perpetrare, ac remissionem tribuere peccatorum: non enim humanitas diminuit aliquid de proprietatibus divinitatis, nec divinitas impedivit Dei verbum incommutabiliter, et veraciter in terris secundum carnem fieri filium hominis.
Psuedo-Chrysostom, Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: And because it is easier to say than to do, there was still manifestly something to say in opposition, for the work was not yet manifested. Wherefore He subjoins, but that ye may know that the Son of man hath power, as if He said, Since ye doubt My word, I will bring on a work which will confirm what was unseen. But He says in a marked manner, on earth to forgive sins, that He might shew that He has joined the power of the divinity to the human nature by an inseparable union, because although He was made man, yet He remained the Word of God; and although by an economy He conversed on the earth with men, nevertheless He was not prevented from working miracles and from giving remission of sins. For His human nature did not in any thing take away from these things which essentially belonged to His Divinity, nor the Divinity hinder the Word of God from becoming on earth, according to the flesh, the Son of Man without change and in truth.
Theophylactus. Dicit autem tolle grabatum tuum, ad maiorem miraculi certitudinem; ostendens quod non est secundum phantasiam, simulque ut ostenderet quod non solum curavit, sed et fortitudinem dedit: sic animas non solum a peccato convertit, sed eis virtutem tribuit ad operandum mandata.
Theophylact: Again, He says, take up thy bed, to prove the greater certainty of the miracle, shewing that it is not a mere illusion; and at the same time to shew that He not only healed, but gave strength; thus He not only turns away souls from sin, but gives them the power of working out the commandments.
Beda. Fit igitur carnale signum, ut probetur spirituale; quamquam eiusdem virtutis sit et corporis et animae vitia dimittere; unde sequitur et statim ille surrexit, et sublato grabato abiit coram omnibus.
Bede: A carnal sign therefore is given, that the spiritual sign may be proved, although it belongs to the same power to do away with the distempers of both soul and body. Whence it follows: and immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all.
Chrysostomus. Prius autem id quod quaerere venerat, scilicet animam, remittendo peccata, curavit, ut cum non credentes dubitaverint, tunc opus adducat in medium, ut verbum opere confirmetur, et per manifestum occultum, animae scilicet sanitas per medelam corporis ostendatur.
Chrys.: Further, He first healed by the remission of sins that which He had come to seek, that is, a soul, so that when they faithlessly doubted, then He might bring forward a work before them, and in this way His word might be confirmed by the work, and a hidden sign be proved by an open one, that is, the health of the soul by the healing of the body.
Beda. Datur etiam nobis intelligentia, propter peccata plerasque evenire corporum debilitates; et idcirco forsitan prius dimittuntur peccata, ut, causis debilitatis ablatis, sanitas restituatur. Quinque enim de causis affliguntur homines molestiis carnis: aut propter merita augenda, ut Iob, et martyres; aut propter humilitatem conservandam, ut Paulus ab Angelo Satanae; aut ob peccata intelligenda, et corrigenda, ut Maria soror Moysi, et hic paralyticus; aut ad gloriam Dei, sicut caecus natus, et Lazarus; aut ad initium damnationis, sicut Herodes. Miranda est autem divinae potentiae virtus, ubi nulla temporis interveniente morula, iussu salvatoris salus festina comitatur; unde sequitur ita ut admirarentur. Relinquentes maius, scilicet remissionem peccatorum, admirantur tantummodo quod apparet, corporis scilicet sanitatem.
Bede: We are also informed, that many sicknesses of body arise from sins, and therefore perhaps sins are first remitted, that the causes of sickness being taken away, health may be restored. For men are afflicted by fleshly troubles for five causes, in order to increase their merits, as Job and the Martyrs; or to preserve their lowliness, as Paul by the messenger of Satan; or that they may perceive and correct their sins, as Miriam, the sister of Moses, and this paralytic; or for the glory of God, as the man born blind and Lazarus; or as the beginnings of the pains of damnation, as Herod and Antiochus. But wonderful is the virtue of the Divine power, where without the least interval of time, by the command of the Saviour, a speedy health accompanies His words. Wherefore there follows: insomuch that they were all amazed. Leaving the greater thing, that is, the remission of sins, they only wonder at that which is apparent, that is, the health of the body.
Theophylactus. Non est autem hic paralyticus qui a Ioanne curatus narratur: ille enim hominem non habebat, hic vero quatuor; ille in probatica piscina curatur, hic vero in domo. Est autem unus qui a Matthaeo et Marco curatus narratur. Mystice autem est et nunc Christus in Capharnaum, in domo scilicet consolationis, idest in Ecclesia, quae est domus paralytici.
Theophylact: This is not however the paralytic, whose cure [p. 42] is related by John, [John 5] for he had no man with him, this one had four; he is cured in the pool of the sheep market, but this one in a house. It is the same man, however, whose cure is related by Matthew [Matt. 9] and Mark. But mystically, Christ is still in Capernaum, in the house of consolation.
Beda. Praedicante autem domino in domo, non capiuntur neque ad ianuam, quia praedicante in Iudaea Christo gentiles ad audiendum nondum intrare valuerunt, ad quos tamen, etsi foris positos, doctrinae suae verba per praedicatores direxit.
Bede: Moreover, whilst the Lord is preaching in the house, there is not room for them, not even at the door, because whilst Christ is preaching in Judaea, the Gentiles are not yet able to enter to hear Him, to whom, however, though placed without, he directed the words of His doctrine by His preachers.