Jesus replied, “You do not realize
now what I am doing, but later
you will understand.”
John 13:7 NIV
Jesus understood that the time had come, and He would soon be leaving this world and going home to the Father. He knew that Judas would betray Him, Peter would deny Him, and the cross lay ahead of Him. Yet knowing the trauma, pain and suffering the next hours and days would hold He took the time to reconfirm and show His disciples the depth of His love for them.
It was the duty of the household servant to wash the dusty feet of guests. Yet Jesus, who knew that His Father had put all things under his power, stooped as a servant to wash the feet of His disciples. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords knelt at the feet of John, Andrew, Matthew and even Judas. One by one with basin and towel in hand he lovingly cleaned the dirt from the day’s travels.
But when He knelt before impetuous Peter, there was a scene as Peter questioned Jesus.
“Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” (John 13:6-8 NIV)
Peter didn’t get it! But don’t be too hard on poor Peter. Aren’t we much like him? Peter was a faithful follower of Christ—the most visibly passionate. He had lots of questions and often thought he had lots of answers. I feel certain that on more than one occasion He caused Jesus to laugh, to frown and to lovingly wrap His arms around His disciple who often spoke without knowledge. Peter did not want to know later, he wanted to know now!
I do not know about you, but I can feel Peter’s pain. When things happen that I do not understand, when life’s circumstances are mysterious and the future seems unclear, when I want to rush headlong into the things God as placed on my heart but He says WAIT, like Peter, I long for an answer and understanding.
When a loved one is too soon snatched from this world, when devastating illness encompasses my waking hours, or when life just doesn’t make sense, I want to scream out to God—Lord, I do not understand!
Then I think about the cross, the suffering, the sin of mankind so heinous that God turned away from His Son’s suffering. I think about the pain as Jesus was unable to draw a breath, and finally the soldier who, because of my sin, pierced the side of my Lord, and I fall on my face and whisper Lord, I do not understand.
God’s grace is overwhelming. His ways are past finding out. His love is never ending, and His mercy is new every morning. I do not deserve it but am happy to receive it. He is holy, and He is God. Yet He sent Jesus as a servant to teach me His ways, to love me and to die for me.
I am happy to receive it; even on the days that I tell Him, Lord, I do not understand.
© Joyce Powell