…Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’
As the Scribes recognised “Only God has the power to forgive sins” – so Jesus is effectively hinting about his true nature. When I pronounce the absolution of sins, it is not me doing it,but Christ, who has called me to make this known to people.
Very few people Jesus met at the time truly understood who he truly was, and even then oftengot the wrong end of the stick (Peter would be a good example) and especially what the true meaning and purpose of the Messiah would be – not (as many in Israel believed) a great warrior king from God, but a humble suffering servant of the people.
The OT speaks of the Messiah being both but when you are under Roman rule, it’s easier to hope for the former to free you, rather than to truly ‘free’you from your sin.