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” (John 11:9).
After Jesus learned Lazarus was sick, He waited two days before telling His disciples they were going back to Judea. In dismay, His disciples exclaimed, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you!” (John 11:8). Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight?” In Jesus’ day, daylight was divided into twelve equal hours, but depending on the season some days and hours were longer than others. Jesus meant that when people work in the light of the sun rather than in the darkness of night, they do not stumble. But “Those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them” (John 11:10). John’s gospel teaches that Jesus is “the light of all people” and “the true light which enlightens everyone” (John 1:4,9). Jesus spoke with a double meaning. Earlier, Jesus taught, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Jesus loved Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, but He also loved and wanted to help those around Him and those traveling to see Him where He stayed. Jesus worked according to God’s timetable, so He worked two more days before going to Judea. He used His hours helping all who came to receive healing and teaching. Soon, His final hour would come, and He would die as “the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2). God helps everyone in the most loving ways and with the best possible timing.