Last Tuesday night at youth group Carlos, a freshman in high school, asked me, “Could God make a rock so big He couldn’t lift it?” His atheist friend had posed the question to him, and Carlos was not sure how to answer it.
The answer is no.
God could not make a rock so big He could not lift it.
Now it is true, that because God is all-powerful He could do the following two things:
Make a rock of any size, and lift a rock of any size.
But God could not make a rock so big that He could not lift it. Why? Because, God does not lift things like you and me. God is Spirit (John 4:24). This means that God does not have a physical body. Therefore, God does not use physical strength to make things move.
When God wants to move something, He simply commands it to do so. God’s power does not come from His physical might but from His words. That is how He created the entire universe. He simply spoke things into existence (Genesis 1, John 1:1-3).
So no matter how big He made the rock, if He wanted to lift it, He would simply say to the rock, “Rise!”
The question “could God make a rock so big that He could not lift it” misunderstands who God is. God cannot be overwhelmed by a physical object (like a rock) because God is not physical. God is not a man (Numbers 23:19). Though to save us, in the person of Jesus, He became one (John 1:14).
So what about Jesus (The God-Man)? Could He make a rock so big He couldn’t lift it?
Yes and No.
Yes, He could make a rock so big that His human body physically could not lift it. But, on the other hand, as God, He could not make a rock so big that He could not lift it, because He could always use His divine power to say to the rock, “Rise”.
What is crazy is that Jesus tells His disciples that, by God’s power (the same power He used), they too can use their words to move a rock, even a rock so big it’s called a mountain (Matthew 21:18-21).