National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC/Superstock

Miraculous power over water. Walking on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus bids Peter to come to him, and Peter steps out of the boat, in Christ at the Sea of Galilee by Jacopo Tintoretto (1518–1594). When Peter becomes frightened and begins to sink, Jesus catches hold of him and asks, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:22–33; also Mark 6:45–52 and John 6:15–21). By walking on water, as in stilling the storm, Jesus demonstrates his mastery over nature, thus showing himself to be the Lord of creation. By saving Peter, as well as the disciples in the storm, Jesus also acts as the Lord of salvation.

Jesus’ miracles consist of two types: healing miracles and nature miracles. The latter may be subdivided into demonstrations of power over nature and feeding miracles. Professor Fossum places these miracles in their ancient context and considers the question of how we should interpret them.