Matthew 9: 6-8. “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.”
Here, Jesus fully demonstrated His divine power, paving a little more of the path to Calvary. In Luke 5:21, the scribes and Pharisees asked, “Who is able to forgive sins but God alone?” By speaking the words He did, Jesus showed plainly that He was claiming that power, and thus claiming to be God. If He had been anything less, then the scribes would have been right. But then Jesus healed the body of the paralytic, after healing his soul, thereby proving that He had the power and the authority to do both.
The paralytic is a type, or picture, of the sinner in his helpless condition. It is true that Jesus could have simply healed his body, but He went deeper, to the source of all disease and pain; He healed the sinful soul. It is what He came to earth to do, after all. Physical healing is wonderful and miraculous, and brings great joy to the sick. But spiritual healing is by far more important. It is only through Jesus that we receive full forgiveness and a right standing with God. When He cleanses us from the guilt of our sin, He gives us the liberty to live a new life in Him, free from the doom that sin imposes. Here is what Mr. Gaebelein has to say:
The paralytic is also a type, or picture, of Israel. What He, the Son of Man, when He comes in glory, will do for His earthly people is seen in the healing of the paralytic. First, He will come and turn away ungodliness from Jacob. He will forgive their sins, and His people, the remnant of Israel, will break forth and sing, “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in Mercy: (Micah 7:18).
Once their spiritual forgiveness has taken place, He will heal them in both soul and body (Isaiah 33:24). These are millennial prophecies, to be fulfilled when Jesus comes back to reign in the earth.
What, then, did the people do who witnessed this miracle? Well, they glorified God. They did not recognize Jesus as Jehovah, but gave glory to God Who gave this Man the power to heal.
They missed the main event.