“And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.”
King James Version (KJV)
9:3 This man blasphemeth - Attributing to himself a power (that of forgiving sins) which belongs to God only.
Mt 9:3 Certain of the scribes. The learned class, the official expounders of the Scriptures, the theologians, the jurists, the legislators, the politicians, and, indeed, the soul of Israel. Said within themselves. They had scented heresy from afar, and came from Jerusalem to pry into the teachings of the Prophet of Galilee, as the people called him (Mt 21:11). See Lu 5:17. This [man] blasphemeth. By professing to forgive sins, the prerogative not of man, but of God. If Christ were but a man, as they imagined, the scribes would have been right. And yet, so far, he had not said that "he" forgave the sins, but merely declared them forgiven. This was the beginning of the opposition that ended with the cross. On the same accusation of blasphemy, now first made, the Sanhedrin condemned him to death (Mt 26:65).