on John 9 :4
While it is day - Though I plainly perceive that the cure of this man will draw down upon me the malice of the Jewish rulers, yet I must accomplish the work for which I came into the world whole it is day - while the term of this life of mine shall last. It was about six months after this that our Lord was crucified. It is very likely that the day was now declining, and night coming on; and he took occasion from this circumstance to introduce the elegant metaphor immediately following. By this we are taught that no opportunity for doing good should be omitted - Day representing the opportunity: Night, the loss of that opportunity.
on John 9 :4
The works of him ... - The works of beneficence and mercy which God has commissioned me to do, and which are expressive of his goodness and power. This was on the Sabbath day John 9:14; and though Jesus had endangered his life (John 5:1-16 by working a similar miracle on the Sabbath, yet he knew that this was the will of God that he should do good, and that he would take care of his life.
While it is day - The day is the proper time for work - night is not. This is the general, the universal sentiment. While the day lasts it is proper to labor. The term "day" here refers to the life of Jesus, and to the opportunity thus afforded of working miracles. His life was drawing to a close. It was probably but about six months after this when he was put to death. The meaning is, My life is near its close. While it continues I must employ it in doing the works which God has appointed.
The night cometh - Night here represents death. It was drawing near, and he must therefore do what he had to do soon. It is not improbable, also, that this took place near the close of the Sabbath, as the sun was declining, and the shades of evening about to appear. This supposition will give increased beauty to the language which follows.
No man can work - It is literally true that day is the appropriate time for toil, and that the night of death is a time when nothing can be done. Ecclesiastes 9:10; "there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave." From this we may learn:
1. that it is our duty to employ all our time in doing the will of God.
2. that we should seek for opportunities of doing good, and suffer none to pass without improving it. We go but once through the world, and we cannot return to correct errors, and recall neglected opportunities of doing our duty.
3. We should be especially diligent in doing our Lord's work from the fact that the night of death is coming. This applies to the aged, for they must soon die; and to the young, for they may soon be called away from this world to eternity.
on John 9 :4
9:4 The night is coming - Christ is the light. When the light is withdrawn night comes, when no man can work - No man can do any thing toward working out his salvation after this life is ended. Yet Christ can work always. But he was not to work upon earth, only during the day, or season which was appointed for him.