I am in awe of Jesus. He always goes to the heart of an issue. Listen to what is reported of him in the second chapter of Mark's gospel:
Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 'Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?' 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? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .' He said to the paralytic, 'I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.' 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!'
Does this just blow you away? He turned things around on the teachers of the law. He took their 'deep' theological whining to a new level ... their whining was something deeper though ... for if Jesus could forgive sins then their perception of who He was was wrong. You know many of us want to acknowledge Jesus as a great teacher and possibly even a prophet. Like the religious people of Christ's day we want to relegate Him to the normal and the natural - but, like those ancient teachers Jesus does not let us get away with it. For if He can forgive sins then He truly is very God of very God - the Ancient of Days visiting mankind. The writer/theologian C. S. Lewis put it this way:
'I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of thing Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.'
Determine for yourself which is easier. As for me, I believe that He has the authority to forgive sins for I believe that he is God.