Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” John 13:7-8
I don’t like the things I don’t understand. Especially I don’t like when things happen to me or around me that I don’t understand. Understanding is a key component of our consciousness. When we don’t understand than we loose stability, control and reference points.
But certainly there are things Jesus is doing in our lives that we don’t understand, we don’t have the capacity to discern, perceive, see through. I have countless list of those in our personal journey. Matter fact, sometimes I feel like there are less and less things that I understand.
Peter didn’t understand what Jesus was doing with him. It didn’t make sense to him, it felt outside of his frame of reference. But Jesus did it anyway.
Here are a few observations from this short dialog between Jesus and Peter:
- Jesus likes to do things we don’t understand. He wont apologize for doing things with us that we don’t understand.
- Our limited capacity to understand things should never be the limit of God’s will for our lives. Jesus is not limited to our finite capacity of understanding! Our limited ability to understand will not hinder Jesus doing what his plans for us and with us.
- There are things Jesus is doing in our lives that we will only understand looking back. (…but afterward you’ll understand – says Jesus.) Certain things don’t make sense looking ahead of them, but they only gain meaning as we look back to them.
- What happens to you (“your feet being washed, Peter”) that you don’t understand now is critical and essential for your future usability and community! (“if I don’t wash you, you have no share with me” – says Jesus to Peter.) Your reaction to the things you don’t understand Jesus is doing in your life determines your future!
- Those things you don’t understand now are changing you and making you usable by God (Peter’s feet being washed by Jesus which he didn’t understand at that moment made him usable in his future.).
- Who you became during the process when things happen to you that you don’t understand is key for your future. It’s more important who you became than what will be done through you. Nothing can’t be done through you unless you are going through things that you don’t understand now.
I’ve seen too many people being upset with God and others when things happened in their lives they didn’t understand.
Trust and love takes us beyond the limits of our finite understanding.