Jesus answered him, "What I'm doing you don't understand now, but afterwards you will know."John 13:7(HCSB)
Though Peter may have left all to follow Jesus, watched in amazement as He saw Him transfigured at the top of the holy mount, and unashamedly proclaimed "Thou are the Christ the Son of the living God," he could not begin to understand the staggering spiritual significance of Christ's act of humility, when He laid aside His garments, girded Himself with a towel, and began to wash the disciples' feet.
The shock-horror of the cruel Cross, the distressing denial of His Lord at the unjust trial, the bewildering amazement at His glorious Resurrection, the breathtaking baptism of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the astonishing inclusion of the Gentiles into the family of God, and the many hidden mysteries of the Church that were almost entirely revealed to the apostle Paul, were all enfolded and yet enshrouded in one simple act - when Jesus rose from the Passover supper, poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet. No wonder the Lord answered Peter: "What I'm doing you don't understand now, but afterward you will know."
The manifestation of God's love towards the fallen race of man at Calvary as the entire floodgates of God's wrath was poured out on His dearly-beloved and only-begotten Son, was beyond Peter's comprehension at that time, but by the power of the Holy Spirit he would later receive illumination. For a time, neither he nor any of the disciples understood the spiritual significance of what they had witnessed, although afterwards things would be made plain.
What appeared as a series of bizarre and unaccountable circumstances that defied reality and reason, was later to be recognised as the necessary prerequisite to the glorious gospel of grace. And as the unveiling of God's plans and purposes continued to unfold before their eyes, they gained spiritual understanding and developed a deepening awareness of God perfect plans and purposes for humanity.
When, like the apostle Peter, we come face to face with a series of bizarre circumstances that seem to shatter our lives, we may not understand the reason for life's twists and turns but we can trust Him, knowing that His ways are perfect and His grace is sufficient.
Like the disciples on that night before the Cross, we may not be comfortable with the shock-horror that we witness or the unjust way that life seems to be unfolding. We may not understand the spiritual significance of all that is happening in our life and the lives of those we care about, but we can trust our Heavenly Father for He is still in control. He knows the end from the beginning and all His ways are perfect.
Although we may not know the meaning and mystery of all that we are called upon to bear in this world, let us remember that we may not understand what is happening now, but hereafter we shall know as we are known. May we learn, as Peter did, that what may be shadowed to our understanding today is being used by God to work together for good, to His praise and for our eternal benefit.
In the meantime, let us patiently submit to His divine will and depend on Him in all things.
Heavenly Father, thank You for this precious picture in the upper room, when in humble submission to the Father’s will, the Lord Jesus laid aside His garment and began to wash the feet of His bewildered disciples. Lord, there are many times in my life that I do not understand the reason that You allow certain things to happen, but help me to simply trust You in all things and enable me to pray, "Thy will not mine be done." Open my understanding to all that You are seeking to teach me, and may I grow in grace as I submit to Your will for my life. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.
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