Cody H. –
I was recently studying through John chapter nine, and in the first seven verses this is where Jesus heals a man who was born blind. And there are some really interesting things that the disciples ask. And the entire chapter is the Pharisees interrogating this guy. But I wanted to highlight a profound statement that Jesus makes in verse four.
Jesus often combines acts of mercy and compassion with truth, and preaching — verbal exclamation of the truth.
And it seems like He sticks profound statements in these areas all the time, and all throughout John. But there’s this really interesting statement here, verse four should be on the screen, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.” And so I just had three thoughts on this verse here.
Number one is that God has good works for us to do.
I was looking at different translations of this and the King James, New King James, some of the older ones, say “I must work the works of Him who sent Me”. But the ESV and others, the NASB and others, translate it “We…” So a couple things there. Jesus obviously had good works that the Father had planned for him to do, the cross and the sacrifice there. But so do we. And we know from Ephesians 2:10, Paul said, “We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” So we have good works that we’re to do while we’re walking this earth.
Number two, God gives daylight for us to work.
I don’t think that this will hit us as hard as it would have hit the Israelites in Jesus’ day. They didn’t have electricity. They didn’t have flashlights.
When the day ended, their work ended, by and large. Some of them might have had lamps, if they had a little money, they might have had oil lamps or something. But for the most part, they went to bed when the sun went down, they got up when the sun came up, and they got to work.
We have flashlights, headlamps, we have electricity. It gets dark, we just turn the lights on, we keep right on going. We don’t really think about the daylight.
But for them, it would have hit a lot harder. I was thinking, what kind of daylight has God given us today? What forms does this daylight take, and I thought of five. You could probably think of more if you spent any time on it.
The five major ones:
1) Energy, God gives us energy to get up every day, put our feet on the floor, start walking, start working. He gives us health and well being to do his work.
2) He gives us education. Here in the US we are educated, far and above what most of the world gets the privilege to experience. God gives us that and especially us as engineers, unique education to get specific work done.
3) Time, He gives us a certain number of years to walk this earth. And when those years are up, we’re done. And my grandmother recently passing has put me in mind of this. The Lord numbers our days, we don’t know how many days we have. But we know when they’re done, we’re done on this earth. So He gives us time.
4) Opportunity, He gives us open doors of opportunity. Specific people He brings across our path to share the gospel with. David just talked about different conversations on airplanes and those are specific opportunities that God gives us. What are we doing with those?
5) Lastly, funding. This is a unique thing applying to us at SonSet here, through his people, God gives funds to get His work done. Whether it’s people giving to the church or specifically to missionaries, to us as an organization, He funds his work. And that’s a form of daylight that He’s given us to work with.
So lastly, the last thing in this verse here: night is coming. Night is coming.
And I think that Jesus had in mind the cross and His death here. He knew He had a period of time that God had for him to do the work and then the cross would come and He would die sacrificially. His work on earth would be done.
But we need to know that our night is coming too. Hebrews 9:27, “It’s appointed for men to die once and after this the judgment.” And we know that when we die, we’ll no longer be able to walk this earth and invite people into God’s kingdom. We know that Jesus when He comes back and recreates the heavens and the earth we’ll be able to work then.
There’ll be a unique aspect of work as we live on the recreated earth and we represent Him, as we were intended to do from the beginning. But for this life and inviting people into the Kingdom, this is it. Night is coming.
So this was a challenge to me as I studied through this, and I hope it is to you. How are we using the daylight God’s given us? Are we making good use of it?
These opportunities: funding, time, education, our energy, our health.
Making sure that we’re using grace-fueled effort to work, not just bearing down and gritting our teeth and working in our own strength. No, this is Spirit-driven, grace-fueled effort, but that’s a thought for another devotion.