“But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.”
King James Version (KJV)
9:6 On earth - Even in my state of humiliation.
Mt 9:6 But that ye may know. By doing that which is capable of being put to the proof, I will vindicate my right and power to do that which in its very nature is incapable of being put to the proof of the senses. The Son of man cannot simply mean "a man", or a mere man, since the powers in question do not to men as such. The true sense is determined by Da 7:13, where the phrase is confessedly applied to the Messiah, as a partaker of our nature. Hath power on earth to forgive sins. "Authority" is a better rendering than "power", and it is so given by the American Revision Committee. He had "authority" from the Father who had sent him, and who had committed judgment to his hands on earth. Sins are against God, and therefore only God can forgive them; for in the nature of things only he can forgive against whom the offense has been committed, but Jesus was "God manifest in the flesh" (1Ti 3:16). I can forgive sins committed against myself, but not those committed against my neighbor, much less those against God. Christ's argument here affords a fair test of all priestly claims to absolve from sin. If the priest has power to remit the eternal punishment of sin, he should be able, certainly, to remit the physical and temporal punishment of sin. This Christ did; this the priest does not, and cannot do.