Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
John 13:7 (NRSV)
There was a lot that Jesus’ followers did not understand. It is a subtle, but recurring theme in John’s biography of Jesus:
- Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
- They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father.
- Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot accept my word.
- Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
- His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.
Along my life journey I’ve discovered that I almost always desire clarity and understanding, but it quite regularly eludes me in the moment and in my immediate circumstances. It is only when I reach a waypoint down the road that I look back and perceive with clarity and understanding how God was at work around me, in me, and through me. I have come to accept that there are some things that will continue to elude me until my journey is over and I am safe at home.
At least I’m not alone. I take heart today in the realization that Jesus’ best friends and closest followers on this earth were perplexed in the moment, too. Being physically present with Jesus and hearing His every word, they still didn’t get it until further on down the road. Maybe it’s time for me to cut myself a little slack.
I’m reminded that this life journey is, for me, a faith journey. I will rarely have clarity and understanding in the moment. I am, however, assured of the hope that God will complete His good work in me. Having looked back at how He has brought me to this point, and all that He has faithfully accomplished thus far, it is evident that I can trust that my present circumstances are part of the plan.
“You do not know now what I am doing,” Jesus says to His followers, “but later you will understand.”
So, go with it. Trust. Have faith.
Embrace the mystery of the moment.
featured image by odreamer via Flickr