“Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.””
So I was reading John 13 in my devotion this morning and went through the passage about Jesus washing the disciples feet. I’m sure you’re the same way, we’ve always heard one big takeaway from this passage and that’s Jesus’ example of humble service in washing the disciples feet. I mean that is the big takeaway but the cool part about God’s Word is so much of God’s wisdom and goodness can be taken away from even one simple verse! When I was reading through this I wanted so bad to make a claim to already know the point of these verses, no point to read it right? But it was humbling and so eye opening to see God say “not so fast homie.”
Ran across this verse and it just hit me like a ton of bricks! It’s right in the middle of these moments at the Last Supper, Jesus, the Son of God is literally humbling himself to the form of a slave under the disciples and serving them with the purest forms of love. Crazy to think Jesus would do this right? Crazy to think that even tho we are sinful, weak, and undeserving humans, He still washes our feet today! He cleans us from every spot of sin when He laid His life down on the cross for me and you. This one verse stuck out because while Jesus is talking to Peter about to wash his feet, Peter isn’t having it. Peter didn’t feel worthy of this service from the Son of God and rightfully so. So Peter is like “no Jesus don’t do that” then when Jesus explains Himself more, Peter is like “oh well you might as well wash my hands too.” Peter is so confused at what Jesus is doing, he has no idea what to say or do. He tries tries to say all the right things that Jesus may want to hear but he’s so messed up at Jesus’ feet washing, he just sounds crazy.
When I read this verse and then hearing Peters wild, confused responses that I had a lot in common with, it made a lot of sense on how often this relationship with Jesus and watching what He does, the truth He speaks in our lives, it makes a lot of sense how often that Jesus doesn’t make sense to us. It’s so hard for us to understand Jesus, what He says, the things He does. Seeing Jesus say this statement to Peter, you may not understand now what I’m doing but you will, there was so many times on the disciples journey with Jesus going town to town ministering to people, that Jesus would do something, a random act of service or an amazing miracle, or Jesus would say something that just didn’t make a lick of sense. It’s awesome to look at this example of all the times the disciples were looking at each other clueless as to what Jesus was doing but this statement by Jesus provides comfort and confidence for us in our lack of understanding of His heavenly ways.
Why we don’t understand Jesus is because we are far from the Godly perfection that He attains and everything Jesus teaches us or shows us is the exact opposite of what we are constantly surrounded by daily in this world. A person hits you or yells at you, our perception is to get upset, hit them back, yell at them! Jesus says turn the other cheek, pray for your neighbor and love them just as He has loved us. The list goes on and on of all the things we think and what the world tells us, then Jesus just hits the reversal button on it. I think about the times in my life when I’m most confused, THE STRUGGLE! For the believer, the struggle is real and hold on, there’s a reason for that. Our struggle doesn’t make sense, in those moments we don’t see Jesus working because He only works on the good things right? The tough moments of life, when we are going through battles, facing circumstances that seem like Goliath to us, financial problems, job problems, family problems, addiction problems, and the problems are endless. What we fail to see so often is what Jesus says in this verse. What seems like just a big mean nasty struggle, Jesus says “you don’t understand what I’m doing but some day you will.”
In the moment, we are hurt, depressed, anxious, and most of all confused but remember that reversal that Jesus does. Although it seems really really bad, the world tells us to give up, you’ll never be good enough, stop trying, we don’t understand it now but Jesus says you will!! Out of all the struggles I’ve had in my life, looking back it’s easy to remember how confused and worried I was but now I understand it. I can see now that the struggles I had yesterday, Jesus was taking me through this process of cleaning. He was taking all the lies I tended to believe from the world, the instincts of being scared of struggles, He was taking those off me and cleaning me. He was renewing my mind to think in God’s ways instead of my own, renewing me to see life through His reversal glasses instead of my human vision. He was cleaning me of the bad and sinful habits and creating me anew. During these times I thought Jesus was nowhere to be seen because my struggle sucked but actually Jesus was teaching me, growing me, strengthening me. He was teaching me how to lean on Him and not my weak self. In the moment it didn’t make any sense and I wanted to buy the world’s lie, “just give up.” But the whole time Jesus has been hard at work, preparing me for the next battles ahead.
This verse gives so much confidence and peace to know that even though the life situation we are in doesn’t make one lick of sense, Jesus is cleaning us, He says it’s okay I know this cleaning doesn’t make sense right now and you probably don’t even realize you’re being cleaned but you’ll understand it one day. In the chaos and confusion we face everyday, no matter how much it doesn’t make sense, take Jesus’s example and Words to heart. Serve and humble yourself, live in light of His amazing reversals and trust that despite your lack of understanding, Jesus is doing a work that is making tomorrow’s version of you more and more into the image of Him. The world says give up, strive forward. The world says get mad, love more. The world says be the best, serve as the least. It may not make sense right now but your future self will thank you for continuing to trust in what Jesus is doing.