“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17)

Peter sat with the other nine disciples in disbelief. Judas had betrayed Jesus, and now Jesus had been crucified. Peter’s Teacher, Friend, and Savior had returned to the Father. Nothing had prepared Peter for the magnitude of this loss. Now more than ever, Peter wanted to remember every comforting word that Jesus had spoken.

Instead, his guilty conscience kept reminding him of how Jesus had warned, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!“ And regretfully, Peter had done exactly what Jesus had predicted. Why hadn’t he heeded Jesus’s warning? That question taunted and tortured him. So did the memory of his cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant, right there in Jesus’s presence. He couldn’t stand to think about that for long. And thankfully, he didn’t have to. His mind raced as other memories swirled through.

Just the other night, Jesus had assumed the role of a servant and washed the disciples’ feet. Peter recalled how he had initially protested having his feet washed, but then he had asked Jesus to wash his feet, as well as his hands and his head. He stored Jesus’s instruction from that night at the forefront of his mind: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Peter was also reassured knowing that Jesus had gone to prepare a place for him. Jesus had told the disciples, “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.” For Peter, that time couldn’t come soon enough; he already missed spending time in Jesus’s presence.

But in the meantime, Jesus had promised to send “another Counselor.” Jesus had said that it was a good thing that He was going away because the Counselor would not come unless Jesus went away.

As Peter fondly remembered his time with Jesus and grieved His loss, Peter’s purpose became clear: He needed to spread the gospel. With Jesus’s departing prayers for the disciples’ protection and for unity for all those who would believe the message, Peter knew that a Way had already been made for him. He simply needed to be obedient and use the gifts that he had been given.

Lord, thank You for the many gifts that You gave us before You returned to the Father: examples of how to serve, the promise that You would return, the Holy Spirit to serve as our Counselor, and Your prayers for us. We know that we cannot repay You. Instead, may we use these gifts to Your glory.