While doing research for a sermon, I stumbled upon a curious creature—the “Jesus Christ lizard.” That’s another name for the common basilisk, a small lizard from South America that’s able to run on its rear legs on the surface of water. This might seem like a miracle, but the basilisk is able to accomplish this feat because of the skin between its toes, allowing it to float on the water for the briefest of moments. Without those flaps of skin, the common basilisk would be, well, common!
Jesus’ walking on the Sea of Galilee in Matthew 14 was definitely not common. His miracle wasn’t about biological design, nor was it some kind of trick. When Jesus “came toward [the disciples], walking on the water” (Matthew 14:25), it revealed His authority over the natural world.
For example, in Luke 5:3-10, He provided a miraculous catch of fish for Simon Peter. And in Matthew 8:23-27, as the disciples quivered in a boat being tossed by waves, He said, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” He then rebuked the waves and “there was a great calm.” Jesus wasn’t simply showing that He could do amazing things; He was demonstrating His power over creation itself. His ability was derived from His identity.
We can develop an incomplete view of Jesus when we focus solely on His miraculous powers. In this way, He becomes a kind of superhero who merely did impressive things that normal human beings can’t do. But this passage reminds us that Jesus’ ability to do miracles was derived from His authority over all things. In other words, He can do all because He’s Lord over all. Today, let’s praise Him, not just for what He can do, but for who He is!
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 11:1-36
Read John 21:6 to once again see Jesus’ authority over nature.
Do you ever find yourself focusing more on what God can do than on who He is? Why can this be harmful?