John 11.7-10 cont.
7 Then after this He said to the disciples: “Let us go again to Judea.”
8 The disciples said to Him: “Rabbi, just now the Jews were seeking to stone You, and You are going back there?”
9 Jesus replied: “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.”
10 but whoever walks in the night stumbles, because the light is not in him.
In our modern society it is possible to travel at anytime of the day or night. Indeed there is something almost romantic about being at a large railway terminus where the lights of the station pierce the darkness of the night.
We can jump into our cars and can travel any distance because we have good lights on our vehicles that enable us to see where we are going.
However, most journeys are done during the hours of daylight, when it is much easier to see. We feel that travelling in the daylight we are less likely to have an accident. (Statistically most accidents occur between 3.00 and 9.00pm.)
The reply of Jesus to the disciples is to remind them that there are twelve hours in a day when it is sensible to travel (walk). He makes the point that during those hours it is daylight and stumbling will not happen, because the road ahead can be clearly seen.
What Jesus said may seem a strange answer to His disciples questioning His intentions to return to Judea.
Previously Jesus had spoken about working while it is daytime: 4 While it is day we must do the works of the One who sent Me, when night comes no one is able to work – John 9.4. In both replies Jesus was pointing His disciples to the appointed times that must run their course. Whilst Jesus was with them it was daylight and that daylight had a specific time to run, just as the twelve hours of a day cannot be shortened or lengthened.
The light of the day of the ministry of Jesus had a God appointed time to run. His going to Jerusalem was not going to shorten or lengthen that time.
The same is true for each believer. Jesus has called us to work for Him for a specific time. We may not know how long that will be, but we do know that it is for the length of our life here on earth. Whilst we breathe the breath of this life we walk in the light of the day of Jesus. Therefore, we can confidently know that we are still living in the light of Jesus and there is work for us to do.