Is forgiveness more life changing than healing?

It’s a decent-sized space, but so full there is barely standing room. Pharisees and law teachers from surrounding area as well as a bunch of locals have come in to hear Jesus. Among them is a paralyzed man. Wheelchairs hadn’t been invented yet so people who couldn’t walk had to be carried on stretchers with handles by friends or family. Having heard that Jesus was a healer his friends wanted to put him in front of Jesus but there was no way through the crowd. They went up on the roof, moved some tiles, and lowered him down to Jesus.
Jesus recognized the faith and determination the man’s friends were showing in taking on this project and said, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The guy on the stretcher is probably thinking, “I sorta came about my legs.”
Jesus was dealing with two situations here. He wasn’t trying to mess with the guy on the stretcher and his friends. He was all about responding to their act of faith. But this moment was also an opportunity to make a point about his overall mission.
“He can’t say that. The law says its blasphemy to say that. Only God can forgive sins!” The scribes and Pharisees were well versed in the scripture and were shocked that Jesus would say something like that.
Jesus knows what they are thinking, “Why are you questioning in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up and walk’?”
Not all the religious leaders had made up their minds about Jesus. For some in the crowd this was their first encounter.
“I said that so all of you know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sin,”
Then Jesus turns to the man on the stretcher, “Get up and walk. Take your stretcher,and go home.”
The man got up, picked up his stretcher and went home praising God.
“That’s incredible!” Gripped by astonishment and awe at what had just happened, everyone began to glorify God. Crediting and thanking God is the appropriate response to a miracle. Jesus does what it takes to get them there, after giving them a big hint about His identity and mission. Could Jesus also have been saying that forgiveness is a bigger deal than healing?
Healing is a big deal in this temporal world. It changes and encourages the lives of many people when it happens.
Forgiveness has impact not only on our own psyches, on our relationships, on our health, and on our lifestyles in this present physical realm but its impact extends into the eternal and spiritual realm as well.

Lord, thank you for forgiveness.