Add parallel Print Page Options

17 [a]One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees[b] and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. 18 And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set [him] in his presence. 19 But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles[c] into the middle in front of Jesus. 20 When he saw their faith, he said, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.”[d] 21 Then the scribes[e] and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?”(A) 22 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts?(B) 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 [f](C)But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” 25 He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. 26 Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”

The Call of Levi.(D)

Read full chapter


  1. 5:17–6:11 From his Marcan source, Luke now introduces a series of controversies with Pharisees: controversy over Jesus’ power to forgive sins (Lk 5:17–26); controversy over his eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners (Lk 5:27–32); controversy over not fasting (Lk 5:33–36); and finally two episodes narrating controversies over observance of the sabbath (Lk 5:1–11).
  2. 5:17 Pharisees: see note on Mt 3:7.
  3. 5:19 Through the tiles: Luke has adapted the story found in Mark to his non-Palestinian audience by changing “opened up the roof” (Mk 2:4, a reference to Palestinian straw and clay roofs) to through the tiles, a detail that reflects the Hellenistic Greco-Roman house with tiled roof.
  4. 5:20 As for you, your sins are forgiven: literally, “O man, your sins are forgiven you.” The connection between the forgiveness of sins and the cure of the paralytic reflects the belief of first-century Palestine (based on the Old Testament: Ex 20:5; Dt 5:9) that sickness and infirmity are the result of sin, one’s own or that of one’s ancestors (see also Lk 13:2; Jn 5:14; 9:2).
  5. 5:21 The scribes: see note on Mk 2:6.
  6. 5:24 See notes on Mt 9:6 and Mk 2:10.