A Paralytic
It didn't take long before Jesus' reputation drew crowds. Not only was he known for his teaching, but he was also known for his unique ability to heal the sick. In this encounter, the urgency of his friends suggests that the paralyzed man had recently become paralyzed due to an injury. But, unable to gain an audience with Jesus in the conventional manner, they removed tiles off the roof, and gained the attention of all those gathered below by lowering their friend down in front of Jesus.

Their desire couldn't be clearer. His need couldn't be clearer. Without the use of his limbs, he couldn't work. Without work, he would be reduced to begging. If his arms couldn't work, he could barely do that. But Jesus seems to ignore the clarity of the situation, and instead addresses a concern that nobody appears to have had, "your sins are forgiven." Clearly, Jesus recognized that this was a much more pressing issue (see, also, this encounter ).

But the response he received was to be expected: the teachers of the law who were in the audience were quite correct to be thinking, "who can forgive sins but God alone?" Unfortunately, their prejudice kept them from seeing the truth. So Jesus spells it out for them.

Mark 2:1 (NIV) A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
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!”

Talk is cheap. It is easy to say, "Your sins are forgiven" -- it is a claim that is impossible to verify third-hand. On the other hand, the healing of a paralyzed man in front of a crowd involves exactly the kind of third-party verification that would make it very difficult to say, "Get up, take your mat and walk." Anyone able to heal as Jesus did could very well be able to forgive as well!