Jesus was proved faultless and trustworthy when God raised him from the dead in power.
Death and sin have no power over Him. This means we can trust that Jesus tells us the truth about Himself and about ourselves.
Here are four words Jesus spoke to His disciples just a few days before He was crucified. He still speaks them to us today.
1. “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (John 13:7)
Simon Peter was uncomfortable. Jesus was Messiah, yet here He was, wearing a common servant’s towel and preparing to wash Peter’s feet. It felt inappropriate to Peter because he was looking for a different kind of leader. He didn’t understand that Jesus’ mission was to lay aside his own life for the sake of others. Later, as Peter preached and gained authority and served and suffered persecution, I’m certain he looked back on this moment as a key revelation of who Jesus is—and who He has called His followers to be.
The disciples had the privilege of having many questions answered by Jesus after He rose from the dead. Today I believe the Spirit is asking us: Is Jesus enough for you even if later on you still don’t understand?
2. “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” (John 13:10)
Peter was eager to have his whole body washed – not only his feet – because Jesus told him, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me” (13:8). We who are in Christ, who believe and have been given the gift of faith from God, are clean. Jesus makes clear here that true cleanliness comes by believing and trusting in Himself, something Judas, it seems, had not done.
This is a firm promise. We will still need our feet washed from time to time through confession of sin and repentance from sin. Going about the towns and roads of our lives inevitably cakes our feet with mud. But Christ alone upholds and guarantees our salvation. You who are in Christ are clean; dirty feet can’t change that.
3. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:3)
The disciples were understandably confused by Jesus telling them He was going away. It wasn’t until after His resurrection that they understood that Jesus’ “way” is not something you can look up on Google Maps; it is a relationship by grace through faith.
Nevertheless, this promise is fulfilled in two ways. First, Jesus promised them that the Holy Spirit “lives with you and will be in you” (14:17). Even though Jesus reigns from the heavens currently as a glorified and resurrected human being, He is with us in the Spirit: “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you” (Romans 8:11). Second, our future hope is in a new heavens and new earth, where the loud voice from the throne says, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God” (Revelation 21:3). We will be where Jesus is forever and ever.
4. “You know the way to the place where I am going.” (John 14:4)
Even though Thomas misunderstood Jesus, it was still true that Thomas knew the way, because Jesus is the way, and Jesus chose Thomas and the other disciples—not the other way around. Be thankful that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Nothing stands between you and the love of God if you are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:31-39). Many things make us feel discouraged and confused. Know Jesus has proclaimed you clean, and He has shown you the truth about Himself—truth we couldn’t learn on our own apart from the grace of God. Stand firm in your knowledge of the resurrected Savior, knowing He knows you and knowing your work in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Rory Tyer is Vice President of Marketing for Global Outreach. He works with the Home Office in support of over 200 missionaries in 49 countries. Click here if you would like to join the Home Office team as a financial partner--the missionaries depend on us, and we depend on you.