The night is coming when no one can work

by Steven Chan

In John 9, the Bible records the account concerning Jesus healing the man born blind from birth. While those around Him were seeking to understand the cause of his plight, asking in particular in John 9:2: “who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.”

Then Jesus went on to make this important statement in John 9:4: “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”

1. Jesus pointed out that He was on earth for a reason.

God had sent Him down to this world to do His Work. Jesus never forgot His God-given work.  Do we know our God-given work?

In Esther 4:14, Mordecai reminded Queen Esther thus: “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Like Jesus, Paul was very focused on his work: “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!”(1 Cor 9:16).

As God’s servants, we need to do His will. Paul exhorts all of us who have died to sin in the watery grave of baptism to “present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”(Rom 6:13) Do we realize that God wants to use us as His instruments of righteousness? Are we willing to yield ourselves to be His instruments?

Philip was an ever willing instrument in God’s hand because when the angel of the Lord told him to “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.  So he arose and went.”(Acts 8:26-27) and there he was used by God as His instrument to preach the gospel to the Ethiopian eunuch.

In 2 Tim 2:21-22, the Bible tells us: “Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” Will we prepare ourselves to be useful for the Master for every good work? So, when we sing the hymn, “where He leads I will follow”, let’s be ready to go where He leads us!

2. To Jesus, Doing God’s Work was a necessity; it was not optional for He said, “I MUST work the works of God.

Is God’s work optional to us? That we will only do His work when we have the extra time and energy? Do we do God’s works or our own works? When God calls us home and asks us to give an account of our lives, what shall we say that we have been doing with our lives? Have we been busy in His works or in our own works? In John 4:34, Jesus: “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” Some of us may have started doing God’s work but somewhere along the road, we have become distracted and have left aside God’s work until a more convenient time.

3. Jesus knew that the time allotted to Him to do God’s work was limited.

He said that he must do the works of God while it is day.  Time will not always be available to us to do God’s work.  Recall that the rich man asked for Lazarus to be sent home to warn his brothers so that they would not come into torment after their deaths? But it was too late because he has passed from day into night.  In 2 Cor 6:1-2, Paul pleaded for immediate response to God’s invitation unto salvation: “We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

4. Jesus said that night is coming when no one can work.

We need to live our lives with the realization that we will be running out of time very soon. It is certain that “night is coming”. The night here refers to our passing from this life. We do not know when the night will come and we will cease from our labour. So, while there is yet time, we must be diligent in doing God’s work. Let’s not debate about why people are what they are. Let’s not focus on matters that are not ours to know or understand (Deut 29:29). Let’s share the gospel with our friends and loved ones so that they can receive salvation from God before the night cometh when it’s too late to work. Let’s work while we can and while it is yet day. Let’s not lose the opportunity to do what we can with what God has given us while it is yet day.

May the Lord help us all to be vigilant in doing the works of God – while it is yet day!