In the healing of the paralytic (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26), the physician Luke uses a medical term, "palsied" (KJV), the technical Greek word used to describe paralysis from disease in some part of the nervous system. Because his disease was so debilitating, the man needed comfort and healing. Jesus thus refers to him as "son," or more literally, "child," showing His fatherly compassion.
Paralysis represents sin's crippling power and the sinner's sheer helplessness to do anything to relieve his own suffering. The apostle Paul speaks of our initial lack of spiritual strength in Romans 5:6, "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." With this miracle, Jesus forgave the penalty that the man had incurred through sin and raised him from his miserable state.
Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Paralytic (Part Two)
The episode involving Jesus and the paralytic makes a distinct connection between sin and sickness. This effect is often subtle because an illness or a poor, weak, rundown state of health may not be the result of a specific sin. It may be the product of a series of sins committed over many years or a lifetime. Sin is so subtle that a worldly person, examining himself for the cause of his sickness, may never consider sin at all. Not knowing God, he would have no inclination to look for sin as the cause.
Our Savior certainly connects sin with sickness: "Jesus said, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk.' . . . Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, 'See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you'" (John 5:8, 14). It could hardly be clearer: Sin produces sickness, pain, and degeneracy.
John W. Ritenbaugh
What Sin Is & What Sin Does
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Mark 2:1: