Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father…
That act of Christ's did seem strange, and Peter's bewilderment is not to be wondered at. Let us see how the Master dealt with it.
I. "WHAT I DO." What a wealth of meaning is stored in these three words. No angel mind can grasp them. He is the great Doer; always doing. "My Father worketh," etc. There is nothing anywhere, or at any time, that He does not perform, permit, or control, in mind or matter, heaven or earth.
II. "THOU KNOWEST NOT." Put the two pronouns side by side. "I" stands for the Deity, "thou" for the mortal. Oh, the folly and pride that criticises and objects to His providential rule! I could not worship a God whose work I could comprehend. How wicked to rebel because our poor capacity cannot gauge the Divine intention. If an architect were to ask you to explain the lines on which Chichester Cathedral is built as you were flashing by it in the express to Portsmouth, you would smile at his unreason, but you are moving across the field of God's matters more rapidly than that. You cannot pour the ocean into a pond, crowd the light of the sun into a lantern, compress the mind of an archangel into the brain of a schoolboy. Then, again, your affairs are mixed up with the rest of His matters, and what He does you know not, because you are only the smallest cog, and the scope of the machine is beyond your ken; because you are only one thread in the vast loom at which He is weaving, and the pattern and purpose cannot be scanned by mortal eyes. What, then, is the attitude we ought to take? One of implicit obedience and unflinching trust. Though we know not what He does we need never be at a loss to know what He would have us do. But if you set up a will of your own you must suffer. Loyally enter the train of His providence, make its movements yours, and you shall be carried safely to the terminus; but oppose it, and collision will come and eternal wreck — witness the cases of Pharaoh, Israel in the wilderness, Saul, Jerusalem.
III. "THOU SHALT KNOW HEREAFTER.'' In Peter's case the revelation followed close upon the mystery. It often does. It did to Joseph in Egypt, Esther in Persia, Luther in Wartburg. But whether here or not heaven will be the land of revelations. Amongst the many mansions there will be the Interpreter's house, where we shall look upon the picture of life as it was, and read the translations too. "There shall be no night there."
(J. Jackson Wray.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
WEB: Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.