Trust Him – He Knows

He's still in charge, beloved. In the dark hours when you're hurting He says, "I'll let you know later on what's going on."

Scripture: John 13:3


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook. Glad to be back with you to invest a few precious moments in looking into the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God, the Bible. There’s no built-in wobble on the Word so far as you and I are concerned. And so as we look into the Bible, we find there that God has spoken to us. First He spoke through the prophets and then through His son, the Lord Jesus, and now through His written word. And we’re in the 13th chapter of the Gospel of John. The last time we got together we were talking about that third verse. Jesus knew his authority, he knew his origin, he knew his destination. The believer, likewise, can know his authority and his origin and where he’s bound for. Now we go into verse four. “Jesus arose from supper and laid aside his garments, and took a towel and girded himself. After that, he poureth water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”

“Then cometh thee to Simon Peter and the Simon Peter saith him, ‘Lord, dost thou wash my feet?’ Jesus answered and said unto him, ‘What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.’ Simon Peter said unto him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head.'” Well, I skipped a verse there, didn’t I? Peter said, “You’ll never wash my feet,” and Jesus said, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” Then he said, Peter said, “Lord, not my feet only but my hands and my head.” Jesus said, “He that is washed,” that means somebody who’s been to the public bath, “needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit; and ye are clean, but not all.” That means not all of you because he was referring to Judas Iscariot. “For he knew,” it says in verse 11, “who should betray him; therefore said he, ‘Ye are not all clean.'” So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said, “Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord. And ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. Neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

Well, I took that whole passage there because it sort of hangs together, doesn’t it? He took a towel, girded himself, poured water into a basin, began to wash their feet. This, beloved, is something that one of them should’ve done for him. The custom in those day was, remember now, people wore sandals for the most part. The roads were dusty, and although you had been to the public bath and bathed your whole body, walking home on a dusty road your feet would get dusty. This was routine in those days and so if you had a special guest, someone who was your guest, you would provide water, and generally a servant in the house would come with a basin of water and a towel and sponge off those dusty feet. Probably put a little some kind of balm on them as well to make them feel good and then put the sandals back on. This was something that one of the disciples should have done for the Master had they known their proper place. He is Lord. He said, “Ye call me Master and Lord and so I am.” Never doubt the fact that the Lord Jesus knew who he was and that he claimed very clearly to be our Lord. He said, “You call me Lord, you’re doing all right, that’s what I am.” So never let anybody suggest to you that the Lord Jesus was uncertain about where he stood.

I permit myself one small comment about this blasphemous film that has recently been recently been released upon the American public about the last temptation of Christ. The theme of it, they tell me, is that Christ was uncertain as to really where he stood. Well, you read your Bible and you won’t find any uncertainty there. You’ll find he was perfectly human and perfectly divine but always clearly convinced of the mission upon which he had been sent coming down the stairways of the stars from the presence of God the Father. “For this cause came I into the world that I should bear witness to the truth,” he said. “I know what I’m doing.” So don’t let any heathen person tell you that Jesus ever was uncertain about his ministry or the reason for his being here. So he began to wash the disciples’ feet, something they should’ve done for him. They forgot. I take some small comfort in realizing that the mistakes the disciples made are the mistakes I make from time to time.

Do you ever forget to pay attention to eternal matters? Do you ever get so caught up with the burdens and responsibilities of the day that you forget to pray, or you forget your devotions, or you forget to ask God to guide you? Do you ever get so burdened that you say to yourself, “I wonder why this should happen to me” and you forget that you’re in the hands of the Heavenly Father who’s planned out your life? I guess we all do, don’t we? So the mistakes the disciples made constitute some little encouragement to the rest of us fallible human beings who turn around and do the same things now and again. Well, it says he came to Simon Peter. Peter said, “Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” Now, Peter knew it should be the other way around. He knew that, that’s why he asked. And then he said, “Thou shalt never wash my feet.” Well, Jesus said, “What I do thou knowest not now but thou shalt know hereafter.” He said two things to Peter, that was the first. The second was, “If I wash thee no thou has no part with me.” Let’s comment on those two statements just for a moment, may we? He said, “What I do thou knowest not now but though shalt know hereafter.” This statement may very well be placed over the doorway of all of our lives because there are so very many things that happen that you cannot understand.

18 years full-time in the pastorate faced me I assure you with many questions that I couldn’t answer. “Why did my baby die? Why did my husband die when I prayed so hard that God would heal him? Why did my wife leave me with these three children and go off with another man? Or why did my husband leave me?” And so on. “Why did this person develop cancer at age 34 and die leaving a family that mourned her departure and little children that needed her so much?” I don’t know. I don’t know. And of course you have the classic illustration of the drunk driver who wildly careening down the road runs his car into somebody, and the people whom he strikes are killed, and he is spared. And you think, “Why did it have to be that way? He deserved to be the one that was killed, not they.” And you work for 50 years for a corporation and then there’s a merger and you’re phased out. And you say, “I gave my best years to the company and what do I get? Not even a wristwatch, just a slip saying that’s it.” [chuckle] I know, it happens, doesn’t it? Oh yes, it does. Life isn’t fair is it? No, it isn’t. Nobody ever said that life was fair. “This is a sinful world as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sins so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned,” Paul says in the book of Romans.

It’s a sinful world and all of the things that upset you and that mystify you, and that sometimes enrage you, all of the unfair things about life are part of the givens. But if you’re a believer, if you know the Lord Jesus Christ, you’ll hear him saying, “What I do thou knowest not now but thou shalt know hereafter.” One of the sweet things about walking with the Lord is that you get a chance every now and again to understand what God has been doing. My sister, Mildred, broke her hip back in January and was hospitalized for quite some time, and had a long convalescence. I saw her just the other day and she’s walking again in her usual brisk and determined fashion. But during those long months of agonizing recuperation with the sharp cutting edge of pain always there, and the necessary therapy and getting that injured hip back into mobility again, she said there was one byproduct that she hadn’t expected. Now, she enjoyed the peace of God, the perfect peace of God. She enjoyed that, she said, from the moment she hit the concrete right straight on through all of the following hours and days and months, the peace of God was real.

What she didn’t realize was that that perfect peace that God gave became an open door to speak about the Lord Jesus. I’m glad for that, aren’t you? Why the accidents? Why the broken bones? Why the illness? Why the layoff of work? Why the unfair things in life that mystify you, and hurt you, and anger you? Let God give you His perfect peace, and then let Him use that as an opening for you to speak of your Lord Jesus Christ. The real reason why God leaves us here after we’re saved instead of taking us straight home to Heaven, that would be far cheaper for Him, wouldn’t it? The real reason why God leaves us here is we might introduce someone else to the Lord Jesus. “I sent you,” said he, “to reap. What I do though knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” Am I speaking to somebody who’s had a very rough deal in life? I know from the letters and cards that you send to me that some of you are going through some very difficult circumstances. Your heart’s breaking and you can’t figure out why things should be the way they are. Would you please look Heaven-ward and trust the Lord Jesus Christ this minute? He says, “You don’t know now but you will know I’m still in charge.” He’s still in charge, beloved. In the dark hours when you’re hurting, and he says, “I’ll let you know later on what’s going on.” We’ll get back to this the next time we get together.

Dear Father, today may we trust Thee even when we don’t understand what’s going on. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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