Thoughts for the Day

Friday, 1st April 2022: There are twelve hours in the day

John 11 Jesus Darkness Light

Reading : Verses from John, Chapter 11


Then Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea again.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and are you going there again?’ Jesus answered, ‘Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of this world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.’

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


This little passage of scripture comes in the middle of John's account of the raising from the dead of Lazarus. Jesus proposes to return to Judea where he's a wanted man, and the disciples are shocked that he would put his head in the noose as it were! They are also shocked because Jesus doesn't immediately return to heal his friend, but waits a further three days until after he has died before returning. As we know Jesus will then go on to raise Lazarus from the dead in the Third Sign mentioned by John in his Gospel.

However, I want to look at the questiion that Jesus asks of his disciples, before he returns to Bethany. He says, 'Are there not twelve hours in the day?' This is the Hebrew way of speaking about the time we have left on earth. Jesus is saying that he must finish the work God has given him to do before darkness comes in the form of his death, and his work as a man is ended.

God has granted us a life here on earth, but we shouldn't waste it. It's no good frittering our life away and only thinking of God and what He wants us to accomplish in the autumn of our life. We have an allotted span of years and we cannot put right the wrongs we've done when we're gone. Instead we should walk in the light of God, using our life profitably for Him, and for others.


Heavenly Father,
we do not know how long we shall live,
or how many years we have of productive life,
but help us to use our time wisely,
not wasting a minute of it,
in order that we can get to know You,
and find ways to help improve things
for others in the world.

Follow Up Thoughts

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