"Peter saith unto Him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered . . . What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter" (John 13:6-7).
Jesus knew He had come from God and was going to God (v.3)-the past and the future. He also understood principles that would successfully govern the lives of those who would follow Him. When He attempted to model one of His most precious life principles (servanthood), impetuous Peter said, in effect, "Never! No way will you ever wash my feet!" (v.8).
Peter had several lessons to learn that day. Jesus, ever loving and ever wise, assured him that He had a plan which was for more than just the future-it even spanned the present. Peter obviously didn't understand in the "now," but he would understand "later."
Jesus added that growth in perception hinged on one thing-submission. "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me" (v.8). To Peter, submission was a humiliating price to pay-but the alternative was unbearable.
It's not easy to let the Lord do something strange and seemingly untimely in our lives or in another's. Sometimes He goes against reason-sometimes we think He has lost control. Has He forgotten what time it is? But just as He paused to remind Peter, Jesus might lovingly look up from His work clothes and earthly utensils and say to us, "You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later. Submit to me in this one thing now, so you can continue being my disciple." Our hearts may struggle momentarily, but the yearning to be His disciple cries out a glad "Yes! Yes! I will yield! Even though it doesn't seem right just now; even if I don't understand, Lord, you haven't forgotten the time. You alone can see from the perspective of past, present, and future, and I will only understand later, as you teach me. Lord, do what you want to do in my life." KLB