Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” – John 13:5-7
At this time Peter didn’t know why the Savior he really needed was a Savior with basin and towel. He was thinking of a Savior with throne and crown. He didn’t understand it until after the blood of Calvary had been shed. Christ referred to these days as “afterwards.”
This saying of Christ, however, may be used in a much wider sense. There are a great many things that He does, which at the time we cannot understand, but in due time all of them will become clear. As they appear to us, while we are passing through them, they’re unfinished acts but when the work is completed it will appear beautiful.
One time Jacob thought, “Everything is against me!” (Gen 42:36) But he lived to see that the very things which he thought were against him were really all working together for his good. In God’s providence “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” (Rom 8:28)
The back of a needlepoint appears to be a mystery of tangle and confusion but there is a beautiful picture on the other side. In the same way we’re looking at our lives on the back side. We cannot see the Master’s plan until ‘afterwards’.
– J.R. Miller