What Can Dolphins Teach Us About Jesus?

Dolphins Template

What Can Dolphins Teach Us About Jesus?

February 20, 2020

Among the sea-fishes many stories are told about the dolphin, indicative of his gentle and kindly nature…. It appears to be the fleetest of all animals, marine and terrestrial, and it can leap over the masts of large vessels. –Aristotle

If you have read my “About Me” page, you know I love dolphins. My fascination with these animals most likely began when I watched the show “Flipper” as a young child. 

Years later, as a Christian, I immediately drew connections between some of the admirable traits of dolphins and those of my newly discovered Savior. Sound a little fishy? Maybe. But as it turns out, I am not alone.

Early Christian art depicts dolphins wrapped around an anchor, symbolizing Jesus on the cross. Since Christians living near the ocean knew dolphins often guided sailors to safety, they easily identified them with their Savior. 

Personally, I find several similarities between dolphins and Jesus.

Dolphins possess incredible intelligence. Because of their large and complex brains, dolphins can communicate, problem-solve, engage in creative play, learn quickly, and use tools. Many scientists believe their intelligence is second only to humans.

Scripture teaches us all treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Jesus (Colossians 2:2-3). Although Jesus demonstrated this wisdom throughout His ministry, I see it most clearly in His interactions with the religious leaders. The Pharisees and Sadducees continuously tried to trap Jesus, but He outsmarted them every single time. (You can read about one of these situations here.) 

Dolphins often engage in joyful play. Games of tag or catch can amuse a group of dolphins for hours. Amazingly, dolphins also play with other animals, such as whales. Such sport serves no purpose, other than simply enjoying the company of others. When I watch dolphins frolic, I can’t help but smile. Their antics convey pure joy.

Throughout His time on Earth, Jesus celebrated life with others. I wrote about this in an earlier blog post, using the wedding in Cana as an example. Many other Scriptures place Him in people’s homes for meals. Often when Jesus taught the people, He used parables centered on the themes of weddings and banquets. Jesus simply loved being with people.

Dolphins initiate helping others. For centuries, people have circulated stories of dolphins helping other dolphins, people, or other animals. Examples include guiding swimmers to safety, protecting others from sharks, and leading helpers to injured people. It remains a mystery how dolphins know to do this, or even what motivates them to do so. Even today, stories abound describing dolphins as rescuers and protectors. Some researchers claim only dolphins and humans practice altruism

Jesus remains the ultimate self-sacrificer. He came to Earth and is the way to the Father (John 14:6). His death on the cross rescues us from the judgement we deserve and brings us healing (1Peter 2:24). He not only gives us eternal life, but He continually protects us from evil (2 Timothy 4:18). 

I loved dolphins long before I knew Jesus. In many ways, their Christ-like qualities paved the way for my adult heart to respond to His gospel.

The Bible tells us God’s creation speaks for Him:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 NIV)

Each part of creation reveals something of the Creator. He is all around us, in the world He created. We only need to look.

God’s creation testifies to Him. 

As I continue down the road, I pray to take time to see the Creator in the midst of His creation. Wherever you are in your journey, I pray the same for you.

What Can Dolphins Teach Us About Jesus?

February 20, 2020

Dolphins Template

Among the sea-fishes many stories are told about the dolphin, indicative of his gentle and kindly nature…. It appears to be the fleetest of all animals, marine and terrestrial, and it can leap over the masts of large vessels. –Aristotle

If you have read my “About Me” page, you know I love dolphins. My fascination with these animals most likely began when I watched the show “Flipper” as a young child. 

Years later, as a Christian, I immediately drew connections between some of the admirable traits of dolphins and those of my newly discovered Savior. Sound a little fishy? Maybe. But as it turns out, I am not alone.

Early Christian art depicts dolphins wrapped around an anchor, symbolizing Jesus on the cross. Since Christians living near the ocean knew dolphins often guided sailors to safety, they easily identified them with their Savior. 

Personally, I find several similarities between dolphins and Jesus.

Dolphins possess incredible intelligence. Because of their large and complex brains, dolphins can communicate, problem-solve, engage in creative play, learn quickly, and use tools. Many scientists believe their intelligence is second only to humans.

Scripture teaches us all treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Jesus (Colossians 2:2-3). Although Jesus demonstrated this wisdom throughout His ministry, I see it most clearly in His interactions with the religious leaders. The Pharisees and Sadducees continuously tried to trap Jesus, but He outsmarted them every single time. (You can read about one of these situations here.) 

Dolphins often engage in joyful play. Games of tag or catch can amuse a group of dolphins for hours. Amazingly, dolphins also play with other animals, such as whales. Such sport serves no purpose, other than simply enjoying the company of others. When I watch dolphins frolic, I can’t help but smile. Their antics convey pure joy.

Throughout His time on Earth, Jesus celebrated life with others. I wrote about this in an earlier blog post, using the wedding in Cana as an example. Many other Scriptures place Him in people’s homes for meals. Often when Jesus taught the people, He used parables centered on the themes of weddings and banquets. Jesus simply loved being with people.

Dolphins initiate helping others. For centuries, people have circulated stories of dolphins helping other dolphins, people, or other animals. Examples include guiding swimmers to safety, protecting others from sharks, and leading helpers to injured people. It remains a mystery how dolphins know to do this, or even what motivates them to do so. Even today, stories abound describing dolphins as rescuers and protectors. Some researchers claim only dolphins and humans practice altruism

Jesus remains the ultimate self-sacrificer. He came to Earth and is the way to the Father (John 14:6). His death on the cross rescues us from the judgement we deserve and brings us healing (1Peter 2:24). He not only gives us eternal life, but He continually protects us from evil (2 Timothy 4:18). 

I loved dolphins long before I knew Jesus. In many ways, their Christ-like qualities paved the way for my adult heart to respond to His gospel.

The Bible tells us God’s creation speaks for Him:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 NIV)

Each part of creation reveals something of the Creator. He is all around us, in the world He created. We only need to look.

God’s creation testifies to Him. 

As I continue down the road, I pray to take time to see the Creator in the midst of His creation. Wherever you are in your journey, I pray the same for you.

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8 Comments

  1. monyae on August 25, 2021 at 3:21 AM

    yes!!!

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on August 26, 2021 at 9:02 AM

      Thank you Monaye!

  2. Shirley Velasquez on April 8, 2023 at 1:19 AM

    Hi my name is Shirley. I like your name LOL. I was looking for pictures of dolphins to make something for someone and this is where I landed. I like your story. Gods creation is amazing. God bless you.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on April 13, 2023 at 7:15 AM

      Thank you Shirley! I agree, God’s creation is so incredible ~ and such a testimony to His character.????

  3. Teri C. on May 26, 2023 at 9:03 AM

    This is wonderful! … thank you, Shirley. I had a dream early this morning, after a somewhat troubled night, of many many dolphins frolicking in the waves at our local beach. I looked up the meaning of dolphins in Scripture, and your wonderful article showed up!

    I have one thought about a phrase you used… it stood out to me as I read. You wrote: “He came to Earth to show us the way to the Father (John 14:6)” I have always thought that Jesus did not come to show us the way but to BE the way. I wonder if we haven’t lost something of the power of Christ’s sacrifice by thinking of Jesus as one who merely showed us the way. I don’t think that we actually believe that he ONLY showed us the way, but it does occur to me that the unsaved must know that Jesus is not just a good example : )

    Blessings without measure, dear one!
    Teri

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on May 26, 2023 at 9:40 AM

      Thank you Teri, I appreciate your encouraging words and thoughtful comment. I did update the blog post as I agree with you: Jesus didn’t just show us the way ~ He is The Way to the Father. Blessings!????

  4. Sharon Smith on November 13, 2023 at 4:23 AM

    Shirley, I stumbled across your post after I had an encounter/experience with a beautiful dolphin yesterday morning.
    I live on the water in Florida and as I say by the water reading my devotions in the early morning, a dolphin swam by and I said out loud oh come closer. Never thinking that he would approach my pier and interact with like he did. The experience was a few minutes long, he stopped and looked me in the eye several times, was just swimming around me on my pier slowly and looking right at me m, rolled on his side as if asking me to run his belly. I was on my hands and knees reaching out to him as tears rolled down my face. It was so special and beautiful I never wanted it to end.
    Now here’s the back story. My husband was murdered 2 years ago. We were married 42 years and had s deep love for each other, yes I’m heartbroken but God is guiding me on my journey. My husband died in Aug and he had asked a friend to make me a mosaic dolphin for Christmas and she fulfilled that and gave it to me on Christmas Eve that year as the gift from my husband. He knew how much I loved dolphins, I would squeal with excitement every time we were out on the boat when the dolphins would approach.
    I feel like yesterday was God and Jeff communicating with me… it was so beautiful ♥️????????I never want to forget it…
    Thoughts???

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on November 13, 2023 at 8:24 AM

      Oh, Sharon, what a beautiful comment! First of all, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the heartbreak you’ve endured. I’m grateful God is guiding you through this. We serve such an amazingly loving God, who interacts with us in our daily, normal activities. I believe God orchestrates moments like what you experienced yesterday. I would embrace it as the gift it is ~ and all the comfort and peace it gives you. Jeff sounds amazing ~ and I’m sure the mosaic is exquisite ~ a beautiful reminder of your life and love, and even of the moments with the dolphin from yesterday. I am praying for God to wrap you in extra measures of His grace and peace. Blessings! ????

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