by Mike Ratliff
6 ἵνα δὲ εἰδῆτε ὅτι ἐξουσίαν ἔχει ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἀφιέναι ἁμαρτίας—τότε λέγει τῷ παραλυτικῷ· ἐγερθεὶς ἆρόν σου τὴν κλίνην καὶ ὕπαγε εἰς τὸν οἶκόν σου. Matthew 9:6 (NA28)
6 “but in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on Earth to forgive sins””–then He said to the paralytic, “Rise up, take up your stretcher and go to your house.” – Matthew 9:6 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)
The literal idea behind the Greek αἴρω (airō) is “to raise or lift up,” and it is usually used in this way. When the Lord Jesus forgave and healed the paralytic in Matthew 9:1-8, for example, His command was to, “Rise up, take up (ἆρόν) your stretcher and go to your house.” In this usage the verb ἆρόν (aron) is the second singular, aorist active imperative case of airō.
Used in the figurative sense, however, as it is in Ephesians 4:31–Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.–it means “to pick up and carry away, to make a clean sweep.” As John the Baptist declared of the Lord Jesus in John 1:29 “The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” We see it again in John 2:16 as our Lord makes a “clean sweep” of the merchandizers in the temple, saying, “and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”
30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:30-32 (NASB)
Paul, therefore, uses it here to paint the graphic picture that we should “sweep away” the hinderances to Christian living listed in the surrounding context. Pastor and expositor Martyn Lloyd-Jones offers this solemn challenge:
The Apostle is exhorting the Ephesians to put away all this evil. he does not say that because they have become Christians it has automatically dropped off…And again we notice that he does not merely tell them to pray that these sins may be taken out of their lives. Pray by all means, but do not forget that Paul tells the Ephesians to put them off, to put them far from them, and we must do the same. It is not pleasant, It is not at all pleasant even to preach on these things; it is very unpleasant for us to face them…but, says the Apostle, we must do it, and if we find any vestige or trace of these things within us, we must take hold of it and hurl it away from us, trample upon it, and bolt the door upon it, and never allow it to come back. – Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Darkness and Light (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House), pp. 282-283.
Soli Deo Gloria!