6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins." So he said to the man, 11 "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!" (Mark 2:6-12)
John Calvin abridged: Christ appears to promise something different to the paralytic than what he had requested. But Christ begins by removing the cause of the disease and reminding the paralytic of the way he should arrange his prayers. Most do not consider God's chastisement upon them- they only want comfort. But God doesn't just want to treat the symptoms but the cause. It is true that God alone has power to forgive sins- but Christ is God in the flesh. Jesus also brings proof of his divinity in reading their thoughts (vs. 8).
Jesus came to help us. He came to help us physically- and so the lame man walked. But he also came to help us spiritually. So Christ offers forgiveness. In our day everything is about physical healing as if forgiveness and guilt have nothing to do with our physical bodies- or even if it does, it is not very important. Yet in the end, our souls-not our bodies last forever. I have a hot water heater that messes up every now and then. I go down there and set the reset button and it gets going again. Forgiveness is pushing the reset button.