John 11:9-10 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
Jesus had a way of saying things that people didn’t understand. It wasn’t that he was trying to confuse them, it just took some careful listening and understanding on their part to make sense of it. Here Jesus is telling his disciples about his next plans. They are not so sure about these plans, so they ask him if he is really sure about them. Then Jesus goes into a discourse on the number of hours in a day. Say what?!
It must have been confusing to be a disciple sometimes. But what I appreciate about Jesus is that he let them think. He let them stew on his words. He let them ponder. Shouldn’t we do the same? When we are reading God’s Word, we can so easily skip over stuff because, well… “that didn’t make much sense.” So when I came upon these two verses today, I did just that. I read them over and over again, trying to figure out what in the world Jesus was talking about. And then it hit me.
Jesus throws out what seems like a no-brainer. That is, if you walk during the day you will not trip and fall because it is light out. If you walk around at night, you will probably fall down because it is dark out. And then he moves on. It seems like an “everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten” type of lesson, but we should know better than that with Jesus. Would he really need to tell people that if they walk at night when it is dark, they might trip and fall? I don’t think so.
It seems to me that Jesus was giving a spiritual lesson to his disciples. Apparently, they weren’t seeing clearly, the spiritual things that Jesus was. The light of God’s perfect plan had shined upon Jesus, but the disciples were totally in the dark on this one. Was it because they weren’t paying attention or was it because they didn’t yet have the Holy Spirit? Probably both.
It was through this simple statement, that Jesus gave an important lesson about being in the light of God. When we walk in darkness, we trip and fall. We stumble, Jesus said. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light… we will see where we are going. The direction for life will be clear. God’s plans for our life will make sense. So let us pursue the light. Let’s be alive today by the power of the Holy Spirit and see where in the world we are walking.