He stayed a couple of days longer when He heard Lazarus was sick. Then Jesus decided to go to Judea. His disciples quickly reminded him that the Jews were trying to stone him just a few days ago. Why did Jesus respond to his disciples by asking them "Are there not 12 hours in a day?" I understand the significance of walking in the light and darkness (i.e. walking with Christ vs. sin). Is there something about the journey back to Judea that one should only walk during the day? Or was it too dangerous to walk at night due to terrain or thieves/robbers/mercenaries?
He continued, saying: 'Are there not twelve hours in a day? If anyone walks around in the daytime, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks around at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.'
Meaning he himself is the light. There is no stumbling for him. Those of the darkness will stumble over him. But not yet. As long as the Father lets him shine, he continues his work until his day is over.
Walking in the light of God's will and word was Jesus' deepest desire (Jn 17:4), even though doing so would culminate in His death. His goal was ultimately to accomplish the work His Father sent Him to do, thereby pleasing His Father (see Jn 8:29) and bringing many sons to glory (He 2:10).
Jesus' disciples feared for His safety, and rightly so. Jesus, on the other hand did not. He was certainly in the eleventh hour of His earthly sojourn, but He was determined to continue walking in the light of His Father's will, even if it meant certain death.
As for His enemies who hated Him without a cause, Jesus would leave them to stumble on in the darkness of their disobedience, the disobedience to which they were appointed (1 Pe 2:8b); to them, Jesus was a rock of offense and stumbling (1 Pe 2:8a). They preferred the darkness because their deeds were evil (Jn 3:19), and they were determined to kill Jesus, despite His being the Light of the world (Jn 8:12; 9:5).
In conclusion, the timeframe of which Jesus spoke when he asked His disciples "Are there not 12 hours in the day?" drew attention to His time being short. The spiritual darkness of the cross was imminent. While His soul shrank from what lay ahead, He was determined to finish His work, knowing that the darkness could not overpower the Light of life which emanated from the cross (see Jn 1:4,5; 8:12).
I think this was a message of wisdom to his disciples as to how to go about their work on earth.
As we know it, day (light) and night (darkness) take their turns over the earth, and it pleases God to make it so.
Therefore, it is so important that we as Christians work with the times (day of course). Spiritually speaking darkness can be over a land while there is sunlight, so this should not be taken literally.
Do your good works while there is light (Remember how Christ dodged the Pharisees each time they tried to hurl stones or push him down the cliff after a word against them?), and rest when it is night till there is no more night but day.
In order to answer the question, it is necessary to go back to the beginning so that the context may be understood more clearly. "Darkness" in the Scriptures is a reference to the spiritual blindness within us but which is overcome by the light of the world who is Jesus (John 9:5). "Darkened waters" of chaos--without form--takes us back to Genesis 1:2-5, when "darkness was on the face of the deep."
Jesus' name is called the "Word of God" (John 1:1, 14; Revelation 19:13b); therefore, the written Word, the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16b) is the light of the world. John 9:3, Jesus said, (paraphrased) "This man is not blind because he or his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him." "In him" is the key; the light of the Word of God gave the man his spiritual insight into the healing power of the waters of the Word of God who is Jesus. The inner healing accompanied his outward display of walking in the light, knowing where he was and where he was going. The disciples, as yet, did not seem to understand fully the power of the Christ whom they followed.
The light of the world is to be transferred from the written Word of God into the minds of His mortal, born again children in order that they may function in the light of the Word of God. When we get to chapter eleven, the Word of God heals a physically dead man who typifies the spiritually dead; the light must be in him (John 11:9-10); he must respond to the command of the Word of God in order to live. The disciples as yet, did not have the faith of the physically blind man who Jesus healed; they knew that going back to Judea meant certain death for Jesus and for themselves. Jesus seems to be explaining to His "student-followers" that "to everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1). His time (and theirs) had not yet come, so they were safe in going back to Judea and were not to grow weary in well-doing on the way.
We can read amplifie version to understand what jesus was saying here.the question of the dixiples makes it clear that they were afraid that he will be put to death if he returned there.his answer shows that he knew in the spirit that those who want to kill him were no more there or they were there but can not stone him any more. He says : He who walk in daytime sees by the light of the world.who is the light of the world?It is the spirit that is in him.He perceived by the spirit that the atmosphere has changed so they can go back to judea. He even said:are they not 12 hours in the day.that means : In this hour i'm talking to you or before we get there,our enemies would have gone..