5

The paralyzed man was carried by four men.

Mark 2:3-5 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Later, Jesus refers to himself as Son of Man in verse 10:

But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.

Is there a relationship between "Son of Man" and "son"? Why did he call a grown man son?

  • See also Matthew 9:2, 9:22; Mark 5:34; Luke 8:48. – Lucian Jun 21 at 21:41
  • Is Isa 9:6 any help? "everlasting Father" – Dottard Jun 21 at 22:44
5

And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
(Mark 2:5) [ESV]

καὶ ἰδὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς τὴν πίστιν αὐτῶν λέγει τῷ παραλυτικῷ τέκνον ἀφίενταί σου αἱ ἁμαρτίαι

Jesus called him "τέκνον" which is most frequently translated as child, but in this case the use is considered to be one of familiar address:

one who is dear to another; but without genetic relationship and without distinction in age, child a. in the voc. gener. as a form of familiar address my child, my son (Herodian 1, 6, 4; ParJer 5:30; Achilles Tat. 8, 4, 3. Directed to fully grown persons, Vi Aesopi G 62 P., where a peasant addresses Aesop in this way) Mt 9:2; Mk 2:51

There are other possibilities. It is also used as as a Hebraic expression for inhabitants of a city:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! (Matthew 23:37)

Ἰερουσαλὴμ Ἰερουσαλήμ, ἡ ἀποκτείνουσα τοὺς προφήτας καὶ λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς ἀπεσταλμένους πρὸς αὐτήν— ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυναγαγεῖν τὰ τέκνα σου, ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις ἐπισυνάγει τὰ νοσσία αὐτῆς ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας, καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε

The location is specifically in Capernaum, so it is possible Jesus is using the term in that sense. He may also be using the term in the sense John will later explain:

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (John 1:12)

ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ

The man's own faith is never mentioned, only that of his friends. However, if he were to believe in Jesus' name, he would have the right to become a τέκνον of God. This may be the primary reason for calling a man "child." In other words, Jesus used it as a familiar form of address and the man's experience will cause him to become a believer and a child of God.


  1. Fredrick William Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, The University Chicago Press, 2000, p. 994
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