One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. (Luke 8:22-24)Sectarian teachers have taught that this event was orchestrated by Jesus in order to show his disciples that he was God - since he seemed to have had power over the wind and the water.
And certainly even Jesus' disciples questioned who Jesus was:
In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him." (Luke 8:25)
Jesus did not claim to be GodIf Jesus was God, why wouldn't he just say it? We can look at some of the clear statements of Jesus to know clearly that Jesus is not God:
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt. 26:39)
"All things have been committed to me by my Father" (Luke 10:22)
“Father, if You are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
“My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.” (John 5:17)
"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work." (John 4:34)
"Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24)
"And the Father who sent me has Himself testified concerning me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form..." (John 5:37)
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)These statements and many others testify that Jesus could not be God. In the above statements, we find Jesus praying to God. We find Jesus wanting to not do his own will be do "the will of Him who sent me."
We also find clear statements that Jesus was sent by God.
These statements clearly make Jesus God's messenger and loving servant. To do someone else's will means to serve them. To be sent by someone means to be their messenger. To do someone else's will voluntarily out of love is to lovingly serve them.
After all, we also see in the scriptures that Jesus prays to God, asking:
"Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what You will." (Mark 14:36)
Who calmed the wind then?
It is God who calmed the wind. In fact, this prayer to God covers precisely what happened with regard to calming the wind and water in that storm. "Everything is possible for you," Jesus says. This indicates that God did this. It also indicates Jesus' unbridled trust in the Supreme Being.
And it is this trust that Jesus is trying to teach his disciples here:
"Where is your faith?" is not a question Jesus is asking with respect to whether Jesus' disciples believed in God or not. Jesus' disciples indeed already believed in God.
Furthermore, the question, "Where is your faith?" has nothing to do with joining a church because there were no churches at that time.
And "Where is your faith?" was not asked by Jesus in order to elicit a belief that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected in three days - as promulgated by sectarian teachers - because this event (rebuking the storm) occurred well in advance of the persecution of Jesus.
What does, "Where is your faith?" mean then?
The word "faith" is being translated from the Greek word πίστις (pistis).The lexicon defines πίστις (pistis), along with other things, as "belief with the predominate idea of trust" and "fidelity, faithfulness; the character of one who can be relied on."
These provide the keys to understanding Jesus' statement to his disciples, and this is the key to understanding all of Jesus' miracles. Jesus had such a fervent trust in God - and God supported this trust by executing these miracles.
Purpose for miracles
These miracles were instructional, not because Jesus wants us to try to use God to perform miracles - as sectarian preachers like to portend.
In fact, many professional preachers will try to imitate Jesus by putting forth and even faking miracles. They think that if they do a little miracle people will think that they are authentic and many will follow them. This desire for followers has nothing to do with Jesus. In fact, Jesus himself disbanded this notion that conducting miracles was somehow pleasing to him:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)This clarifies that Jesus is pleased not with people who proclaim "Lord Lord" to him - or "Jesus Jesus" for that matter - or those who put forth miracles, fake or not. Jesus is pleased when a person sincerely seeks to serve and please God.
This is the meaning of "one who does the will of my Father."
What does doing God's will mean?
Serving God and pleasing God is doing God's will. This goes for any relationship. To do someone else's will means to want to please them, because we love them and care about them.
This ties directly to this particular miracle and the other miracles of Jesus: Jesus was doing God's will. The miracles happened because God made them happen, and Jesus was conducting God's mission, and providing a platform for those miracles.
And those miracles were instructional because Jesus was glorifying God and illustrating just how reliable and powerful God is. Consider these verses, which followed Jesus' miracles:
When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man. (Matt. 9:8)
He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God (Mark 2:12)
They were all filled with awe and praised God. (Luke 7:16)
Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. (Luke 13:13)
Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. (Luke 18:43)These verses indicate the purpose for Jesus' miracles. He wanted people to praise God.
He also wanted his students to rely on God. This is what Jesus is asking from his disciples: That they learn to depend on God. That they learn to rely on God.
We are all God's children
When we depend upon and rely upon God we are in our natural position as God's dependents. Yes, we are God's children. He is in charge. And we are not.
Yet this issue of power is precisely why we are here in this physical world - away from God. We wanted to be independent of Him. We wanted to be in charge.
So God gave us these temporary identities of these physical bodies and allowed us to pretend that we are independent of Him for a while. These physical bodies allow us to ignore Him. They allow us to pretend that we are in charge of something.
And the various roles we play here in the physical world - they are precisely that. They are roles that allow us to pretend we are the boss of someone. Whether it be our subordinates at work, our fans, our pets or our children - in the physical world we can pretend to be in charge of someone.
But the reality is, we are never in charge. We are never in control of anyone else. We might think we are - but we're not. We might think we can boss around our subordinates at work but they will sneak around us and do what they want. Or we might think that we are in charge of our pets but they will pee on the carpet anyway. Or we might think that we are in charge of our children but they will cry or run away or at some point leave the house anyway.
No, we are never in charge, because we are not controllers by nature. We control nothing outside of our decision whether we want to serve God or not. We cannot even control the environment we live in - the weather - let alone the people around us.
And this is precisely the lesson being imparted by Jesus here to his disciples. His disciples were afraid during the storm. They were in fear of the boat sinking and their bodies would drown. But Jesus is trying to show them that the Supreme Being is there for them. He is caring for them and will protect them.
No matter how bad things may seem, He is always watching over each of us, caring for us. We may be worried about this or that concern, but we have no need to be worried, because everything is under His control, and He is ultimately guiding us towards what will make us happy.
Many of us, for example, don't know why our bodies die, then. We don't understand why there is so much suffering in the physical world if God is watching over us and caring for us. Some will lose their faith (trust) in God because one of their family members died, or we see others' bodies suffering, or our bodies are suffering.
But we must understand that dying, and the sufferings of the physical world are only taking place upon our temporary physical body. It is like a video gamer wondering why his video icon is always getting shot or blown up. The game was designed that way. The person sitting at the computer is not getting shot or blown up. Only the temporary video icon-avatar inside the game is getting blown up. At any time, the person sitting at the computer can turn off the computer and walk away.
This is also illustrated when we dream. We may be thrown off a building or otherwise hurt in a dream, only to find that our body is unharmed when we wake up.
This is the physical world: It is not our home. And these physical bodies are not us. We are the spirit-person within the physical body. We are not made of matter. We are eternal. When our body gets sick, we are not sick. When our body dies, we do not die. We simply leave the body and it decomposes.
And God is always in control. Everything belongs to Him. He can control the weather and the environment - everything within the physical world and the spiritual realm. This is God's position: Omniscient. God is the Creator, Owner and Controller of everything.
He can also control us. But He doesn't. He gives us choices. He gives us the freedom to love Him or not. This is because He wants us to love Him out of our own free will. He wants us to come to Him and rely upon Him and be dependent upon Him at our choice. Despite the various religious fanatics of the world who try to force us to pledge allegiance to their religion or sect, God gives us the freedom because He loves us, and wants our love because He knows that will make us happy.
Because love requires free will.
And Jesus was teaching love for God. This is why his most important teaching was:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)