John 12:35
Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
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(35) Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you.—It is better, as we have often seen, to read Therefore for “Then.” The word connects what follows closely with what has gone before. It was because of their question that Jesus said this. And yet it is not said that “He answered them,” because what He said was not a direct answer. They are asking questions in which we may trace the spirit, if not the very words, of the formal, literal objectors who had, with like technicalities, stifled the truth whenever it was springing up in their minds. Such questions cannot be really answered, because they are not really questions. And now the day has gone, and the night is at hand. The old thought comes back to Him (John 9:4; John 11:9). The last rays of light are shining. It is but a little while, and He warns them with all the solemnity of this thought.

Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you.—The better reading is, Walk according as ye have the lighti.e., “Walk as men who are conscious that the light is among them, use your opportunities; do not ask questions to raise objections, but ask them in order that you may know the truth.” The man who thus used the light would by no means walk in darkness, but would have the light of life (John 8:12). For him that neglected to use the means and faculty he had, both would cease to exist. (Comp. Note on Romans 1:21.)

The words “come upon,” or “overtake,” is used of some sudden seizure. There are two parallels in Biblical Greek, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that the day should overtake you as a thief” (1Thessalonians 5:4), and “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

He that walketh in darkness.—Comp. Notes in John 8:12; John 9:4; John 11:9; and 1John 2:11.

Knoweth not whither he goeth.—The last word means “goeth away,” “departeth.” The frequent use of the word by St. John to express departure to the other world suggests that meaning here. He was going away. They ask, “Who is this Son of man who is lifted up,” “who goes away?” He warns them lest darkness seize them, and they go away into darkness. In the next four chapters the same word is used twelve times of Christ’s departure. (Comp. e.g. John 13:3; John 13:33; John 13:36.)



John 12:35 - John 12:36

These are the last words of our Lord’s public ministry. He afterwards spoke only to His followers in the sweet seclusion of the sympathetic home at Bethany, and amid the sanctities of the upper chamber. ‘Yet a little while am I with you’; -the sun had all but set. Two days more, and the Cross was reared on Calvary, but there was yet time to turn to the light. And so His divine charity ‘hoped all things,’ and continued to plead with those who had so long rejected Him. As befits a last appeal, the words unveil the heart of Christ. They are solemn with warning, radiant with promise, almost beseeching in their earnestness. He loves too well not to warn, but He will not leave the bitterness of threatening as a last savour on the palate, and so the lips, into which grace is poured, bade farewell to His enemies with the promise and the hope that even they may become ‘the sons of light.’

The solemnity of the occasion, then, gives great force to the words; and the remembrance of it sets us on the right track for estimating their significance. Let us see what lessons for us there may be in Christ’s last words to the world.

I. There is, first, a self-revelation.

It is no mere grammatical pedantry that draws attention to the fact that four times in this text does our Lord employ the definite article, and speak of ‘the light.’ And that that is no mere accident is obvious from the fact that, in the last clause of our text, where the general idea of light is all that is meant to be emphatic, the article is omitted. ‘Yet a little while is the light with you; walk while ye have the light . . . . While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.’

So then, most distinctly here, in His final appeal to the world, He draws back the curtain, as it were, takes away the shade that had covered the lamp, and lets one full beam stream out for the last impression that He leaves. Is it not profoundly significant and impressive that then, of all times, over and over again, in the compass of these short verses, this Galilean peasant makes the tremendous assertion that He is what none other can be, in a solitary and transcendent sense, the Light of Mankind? Undismayed by universal rejection, unfaltering in spite of the curling lips of incredulity and scorn, unbroken by the near approach of certain martyrdom, He presents Himself before the world as its Light. Nothing in the history of mad, fanatical claims to inspiration and divine authority is to be compared with these assertions of our Lord. He is the fontal Source, He says, of all illumination; He stands before the whole race, and claims to be ‘the Master-Light of all our seeing.’ Whatsoever ideas of clearness of knowledge, of rapture of joy, of whiteness of purity, are symbolised by that great emblem, He declares that He manifests them all to men. Others may shine; but they are, as He said, ‘lights kindled,’ and therefore ‘burning.’ Others may shine, but they have caught their radiance from Him. All teachers, all helpers, all thinkers draw their inspiration, if they have any, from Him, in whom was life, and the Life was the Light of men.

There has been blazing in the heavens of late a new star, that burst upon astonished astronomers in a void spot; but its brilliancy, though far transcending that of our sun, soon began to wane, and before long, apparently, there will be blackness again where there was blackness before. So all lights but His are temporary as well as derived, and men ‘willing for a season to rejoice’ in the fleeting splendours, and to listen to the teacher of a day, lose the illumination of his presence and guidance of his thoughts as the ages roll on. But the Light is ‘not for an age, but for all time.’

Now, brethren, this is Christ’s estimate of Himself. I dwell not on it for the purpose of seeking to exhaust its depth of significance. In it there lies the assertion that He, and He only, is the source of all valid knowledge of the deepest sort concerning God and men, and their mutual relations. In it lie the assertion that He, and He only, is the source of all true gladness that may blend with our else darkened lives, and the further assertion that from Him, and from Him alone, can flow to us the purity that shall make us pure. We have to turn to that Man close by His Cross, on whom while He spoke the penumbra of the eclipse of death was beginning to show itself, and to say to Him what the Psalmist said of old to the Jehovah whom he knew, and whom we recognise as indwelling in Jesus: ‘With Thee is the fountain of life. Thou makest us to drink of the river of Thy pleasures. In Thy light shall we see light.’

So Christ thought of Himself; so Christ would have as to think of Him. And it becomes a question for us how, if we refuse to accept that claim of a solitary, underived, eternal, and universal power of illuminating mankind, we can save His character for the veneration of the world. We cannot go picking and choosing amongst the Master’s words, and say ‘This is historical, and that mythical.’ We cannot select some of them, and leave others on one side. You must take the whole Christ if you take any Christ. And the whole Christ is He who, within sight of Calvary, and in the face of all but universal rejection, lifted up His voice, and, as His valediction to the world, declared, ‘I am the Light of the world.’ So He says to us. Oh that we all might cast ourselves before Him, with the cry, ‘Lighten our darkness, O Lord, we beseech Thee!’

II. Secondly, we have here a double exhortation.

‘Walk in the light; believe in the light.’ These two sum up all our duties; or rather, unveil for us the whole fullness of the possible privileges and blessings of which our relation to that light is capable. It is obvious that the latter of them is the deeper in idea, and the prior in order of sequence. There must be the ‘belief’ in the light before there is the ‘walk’ in the light. Walking includes the ideas of external activity and of progress. And so, putting these two exhortations together, we get the whole of Christianity considered as subjective. ‘Believe in the light; trust in the light,’ and then ‘walk’ in it. A word, then, about each of these branches of this double exhortation.

‘Trust in the light.’ The figure seems to be dropped at first sight; for it wants little faith to believe in the sunshine at midday; and when the light is pouring out, how can a man but see it? But the apparent incongruity of the metaphor points to something very deep in regard to the spiritual side. We cannot but believe in the light that meets the eye when it meets it, but it is possible for a man to blind himself to the shining of this light. Therefore the exhortation is needed-’Believe in the light,’ for only by believing it can you see it. Just as the eye is the organ of sight, just as its nerves are sensitive to the mysterious finger of the beam, just as on its mirroring surface impinges the gentle but mighty force that has winged its way across all the space between us and the sun, and yet falls without hurting, so faith, the ‘inward eye which makes the bliss’ of the solitary soul, is the one organ by which you and I can see the light. ‘Seeing is believing,’ says the old proverb. That is true in regard to the physical. Believing is seeing, is much rather the way to put it in regard to the spiritual and divine.

Only as we trust the light do we see the light. Unless you and I put our confidence in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Son of Man, we have no adequate knowledge of Him and no clear vision of Him. We must know that we may love; but we must love that we may know. We must believe that we may see. True, we must see that we may believe, but the preliminary vision which precedes belief is slight and dim as compared with the solidity and the depth of assurance with which we apprehend the reality and know the lustre of Him whom our faith has grasped. You will never know the glory of the light, nor the sweetness with which it falls upon the gazing eye, until you turn your face to that Master, and so receive on your susceptible and waiting heart the warmth and the radiance which He only can bestow. ‘Believe in the light.’ Trust it; or rather, trust Him who is it. He cannot deceive. This light from heaven can never lead astray. Absolutely we may rely upon it; unconditionally we must follow it. Lean upon Him-to take another metaphor-with all your weight. His arm is strong to bear the burden of our weaknesses, sorrows, and, above all, our sins. ‘While ye have light, trust the light.’

But then that is not enough. Man, with his double relations, must have an active and external as well as an inward and contemplative life. And so our Lord, side by side with the exhortation on which I have been touching, puts the other one, ‘Walk in the light.’ Our inward emotions, however deep and precious, however real the affiance, however whole-hearted the love, are maimed and stunted, and not what the light requires, unless there follows upon them the activity of the walk. What do we get the daylight for? To sit and gaze at it? By no means; but that it may guide us upon our path and help us in all our work. And so all Christian people need ever to remember that Jesus Christ has indissolubly bound together these two phases of our relation to Him as the light of life-inward and blessed contemplation by faith and outward practical activity. To walk is, of course, the familiar metaphor for the external life of man, and all our deeds are to be in conformity with the Light, and in communion with Him. This is the deepest designation, perhaps, of the true character of a Christian life in its external aspect-that it walks in Christ, doing nothing but as His light shines, and ever bearing along with it conscious fellowship with Him who is thus the guiding and irradiating and gladdening and sanctifying life of our lives, ‘Walk in the light as He is in the light.’ Our days fleet and change; His are stable and the same. For, although these words which I have quoted, in their original application refer to God the Father, they are no less true about Him who rests at the right hand of God, and is one light with Him. He is in the light. We may approximate to that stable and calm radiance, even though our lives are passed through changing scenes, and effort and struggle are their characteristics. And oh! how blessed, brother, such a life will be, all gladdened by the unsetting and unclouded sunshine that even in the shadiest places shines, and turns the darkness of the valley of the shadow of death into solemn light; teaching gloom to glow with a hidden sun!

But there is not only the idea of activity here, there is the further notion of progress. Unless Christian people to their faith add work, and have both their faith and their consequent work in a continual condition of progress and growth, there is little reason to believe that they apprehend the light at all. If you trust the light you will walk in it; and if your days are not in conformity nor in communion with Him, and are not advancing nearer and nearer to the central blaze, then it becomes you to ask yourselves whether you have verily seen at all, or trusted at all, ‘the Light of life.’

III. Thirdly, there is here a warning.

‘Walk whilst ye have the light, lest the darkness come upon you.’ That is the summing up of the whole history of that stiff-necked and marvellous people. For what has all the history of Israel been since that day but groping in the wilderness without any pillar of fire? But there is more than that in it. Christ gives us this one solemn warning of what falls on us if we turn away from Him. Rejected light is the parent of the densest darkness, and the man who, having the light, does not trust it, piles around himself thick clouds of obscurity and gloom, far more doleful and impenetrable than the twilight that glimmers round the men who have never known the daylight of revelation. The history of un-Christian and anti-Christian Christendom is a terrible commentary upon these words of the Master, and the cries that we hear all round us to-day from men who will not follow the light of Christ, and moan or boast that they dwell in agnostic darkness, tell us that, of all the eclipses that can fall upon heart and mind, there is none so dismal or thunderously dark as that of the men who, having seen the light of Christ in the sky, have turned from it and said, ‘It is no light, it is only a mock sun.’ Brethren, tempt not that fate.

And if Christian men and women do not advance in their knowledge and their conformity, like clouds of darkness will fall upon them. None is so hopeless as the unprogressive Christian, none so far away as those who have been brought nigh and have never come any nigher. If you believe the light, see that you growingly trust and walk in it, else darkness will come upon you, and you will not know whither you go.

IV. And lastly, there is here a hope and a promise.

‘That ye may be the sons of light.’

Faith and obedience turn a man into the likeness of that in which he trusts. If we trust Jesus we open our hearts to Him; and if we open our hearts to Him He will come in. If you are in a darkened room, what have you to do in order to have it filled with glad sunshine? Open the shutters and pull up the blinds, and the light will do all the rest. If you trust the light, it will rush in and fill every crevice and cranny of your hearts. Faith and obedience will mould us, by their natural effect, into the resemblance of that on which we lean. As one of the old German mystics said, ‘What thou lovest, that thou dost become.’ And it is blessedly true. The same principle makes Christians like Christ, and makes idolaters like their gods. ‘They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them,’ says one of the Psalms. ‘They followed after vanity and are become vain,’ says the chronicler of Israel’s defections. ‘We with unveiled faces beholding’-or mirroring-’the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image.’ Trust the light and you become ‘sons of the light.’

And so, dear friends, all of us may hope that by degrees, as the reward of faith and of walking, we still may bear the image of the heavenly, even here on earth. While as yet we only believe in the light, we may participate in its transforming power, like some far-off planet on the utmost bounds of some solar system, that receives faint and small supplies of light and warmth, through a thick atmosphere of vapour, and across immeasurable spaces. But we have the assurance that we shall be carried nearer our centre, and then, like the planets that are closer to the sun than our earth is, we shall feel the fuller power of the heat, and be saturated with the glory of the light. ‘We shall see Him as He is’; and then we too ‘shall blaze forth like the sun in the kingdom of our Father.’

12:34-36 The people drew false notions from the Scriptures, because they overlooked the prophecies that spoke of Christ's sufferings and death. Our Lord warned them that the light would not long continue with them, and exhorted them to walk in it, before the darkness overtook them. Those who would walk in the light must believe in it, and follow Christ's directions. But those who have not faith, cannot behold what is set forth in Jesus, lifted up on the cross, and must be strangers to its influence as made known by the Holy Spirit; they find a thousand objections to excuse their unbelief.Yet a little while is the light with you - Jesus did not reply directly to their question. He saw that they were offended by the mention of his death, and he endeavored to arrive at the same thing indirectly. He tells them, therefore, that the light would be with them a little while, and that they ought to improve the opportunity while they had it to listen to his instructions, to require with candor, and thus to forsake their false notions respecting the Messiah.

The light - John 1:4. It is probable that they understood this as denoting the Messiah. See John 8:12; "I am the light of the world;" John 9:4.

Walk ... - John 11:9. Whatever you have to do, do it while you enjoy this light. Make good use of your privileges before they are removed. That is, while the Messiah is with you, avail yourselves of his instructions and learn the way to life.

Lest darkness - Lest God should take away all your mercies, remove all light and instruction from you, and leave you to ignorance, blindness, and woe. This was true that darkness and calamity were to come upon the Jewish people when the Messiah was removed; and it is also true that God leaves a sinner to darkness and misery when he has long rejected the gospel.

For he ... - See John 11:10.

35, 36. Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, &c.—Instead of answering their question, He warns them, with mingled majesty and tenderness, against trifling with their last brief opportunity, and entreats them to let in the Light while they have it in the midst of them, that they themselves might be "light in the Lord." In this case, all the clouds which hung around His Person and Mission would speedily be dispelled, while if they continued to hate the light, bootless were all His answers to their merely speculative or captious questions. (See on [1841]Lu 13:23). Our Saviour thinketh not fit further to open himself as to that point concerning the Messiah, and his Divine nature; into a direct assertion of which he must have entered, had he given a direct answer to their questions; otherwise what they had objected might easily have been answered by our Saviour, by distinguishing between the two natures in his own person: according to his Divine nature he was not to die, though he died according to his human nature; and after his suffering and resurrection, his whole person, in which both the Divine and human nature were united, were to endure for ever: but he thinks not fit to discourse this point, but returns to what John had told them, John 1:9, and what he himself had said, John 9:5, that he was the light of the world, though possibly by light he here understandeth those beams of gospel doctrine which issued out from him as the fountain of light. Yet a little while, I, who am the great Light, and the true Light of the world, am with you: or, Yet a little while, the gospel, which is light, and directs you in the way to heaven, is with you, for within a few years (under forty) after this, their city was destroyed, and their nation ruined; and before that time the apostles were turned away from the generality of that nation to the Gentiles, Acts 13:46 19:9. He in the next verse expounds himself as to what he meant by walking, viz. believing: Make use of the light, both to guide your understandings and judgments, and also to direct your feet: for look on men in the world, while they have the guidance of the light of the sun, they know how to order their steps, and to direct their feet; but if once it be dark, they know not how to direct their feet in their way, but err, and stumble, and fall. So it will be with you, when I shall be gone, who am the great Light of the world while I am in the world (as he spake John 9:5); and not only I gone, but the gospel, which is that light which I shall leave behind me, be gone, by my apostles turning to the Gentiles, through your perverse refusal of the salvation of it, as Acts 13:46 19:9: when you shall be utterly ruined, (as it will be at the destruction of your city), then you will walk in darkness, having no means of salvation left you.

Then Jesus said unto them,.... Not directly answering to their questions, but suggests to them their ignorance and stupidity, amidst so much light, that was about them:

yet a little while is the light with you: meaning either himself, the light of the world, John 8:12, who was to be but a very little while longer with them, a few days more, and he was to go away from them by death, and be seen and heard no more by them: or the Gospel, which, though that was to continue somewhat longer, it being, after Christ's death, resurrection, and ascension, to be preached to the Jews, both in Judea, and in other parts of the world; yet that would be but for a little while, as the event has shown; for the Jews rejecting the Gospel, and putting it away from them, the apostles, as they were ordered, turned to the Gentiles, Acts 13:46;

walk while ye have the light: that is, as it is explained in John 12:36, "believe ye in the light": which the Persic version adds here, and leaves out there: and the sense is, believe in the Messiah, and in his Gospel; embrace him and that, and walk on in him, and worthy of him and of his Gospel, as children of the light:

lest darkness come upon you; suddenly, at an unawares; either a greater degree of the darkness of ignorance and unbelief; even a judicial blindness and stupidity, which did seize on that people, and continues upon them to this day; or the darkness of afflictions, calamities, and distress, and which have come upon them to the uttermost, to the destruction of their temple, city, and nation; or else a worse darkness, even blackness of darkness, outer darkness in hell, where are weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

For he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth; he cannot see his way, nor the stumbling blocks that lie in it, and the dangers he is exposed unto; nor does he know where it leads, and what is the end of it; and just so it is with a man in a state of unregeneracy, and more especially under judicial blindness: he is not aware of the pits and snares that lie in his way, or of the dark mountains on which he stumbles; and though destruction and misery are in his ways, he knows not that he is going thereunto.

{8} Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

(8) Unmeasurable is the mercy of God, but a horrible judgment follows if it is condemned.

John 12:35-36. Jesus does not enter upon the question raised, but directs the questioners to that one point which concerns them, with the intensity and seriousness of one who is on the point of taking His departure. To follow this one direction must indeed of itself free them from all those doubts and questions.

ἐν ὑμῖν] among you.

περιπ. ὡς τὸ φῶς ἔχετε] On the reading ὡς, see the critical notes. Walk as you have the light, i.e. in conformity with the fact that you have among you the possessor and bearer of the divine truth (comp. on John 8:12); be not slothful, but spiritually active, and awake in the enjoyment of this relation, just as one does not rest and lie still when he has the bright light of day, but walks in order to attain the end in view before the darkness breaks in (see what follows). On ὡς as assigning the motive (in the measure that), comp. generally on John 13:34, and here especially on Galatians 6:10. Ellendt aptly says, Lex. Soph. II. p. 1008: “nec tamen causam per se spectatam, sed quam qnis, qualis sit, indicat.” The signification quamdiu (Baeumlein) is not borne by ὡς, not even in Soph. Aj. 1117 (see, Schneidewin in loc.), Phil. 635. 1330.

ἵνα μὴ σκοτία, κ.τ.λ.] in order that—which would smite you as a penal destiny in retribution of your μὴ περιπατεῖνdarkness (the element opposed to the divine truth of salvation, which still at present shines upon you) may not seize you, like a hostile power. Comp. John 1:21 : ἐσκοτίσθη ἡ ἀσύνετος αὐτῶν καρδία. On καταλάβῃ, comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:4; also in the classics very frequently of danger, misfortune, and the like, which befall any one. Arrian, Alex. i. 5. 17 : εἰ νὺξ καταλήψεται αὐτούς.

καὶ ὁ περιπ., κ.τ.λ.] and how dangerous would this condition be! This is brought home in a sentence from ordinary life; comp. John 11:9, John 9:4.

ποῦ ὑπάγει] whither he is departing, John 3:8. Thus the ἐσκοτισμένος goes away, without knowing the unhappy end, into everlasting destruction; comp. 1 John 2:11. For the opposite of this ποῦ ὑπάγει, see John 8:14; John 8:21, John 16:5, et al.

ὡς τ. φῶς ἔχετε] Repeated and placed first with great emphasis.

πιστεύετε εἰς τ. φῶς, ἵνα, κ.τ.λ.] More minute designation of that which was previously intended by the figurative περιπατεῖτε.

υἱοὶ τοῦ φῶτ.] Enlightened persons. See on Luke 16:8; Ephesians 5:8.

γένησθε] not be, but become. Faith is the condition and the beginning of it; comp. John 1:12.

ἐκρύβη ἀπʼ αὐτῶν] The situation in John 8:59 is different. He now, according to the account of John, withdraws from them into concealment, probably to Bethany, in order to spend these last days of life, before the arrival of His hour, in the quiet confidential circle, not as a prelude, “summi judicii occultationis Domini” (Lampe, Luthardt), which is not indicated, and is all the more without support, that the last discourse was not condemnatory, but only hortatory.

John 12:35. Εἶπεν οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς. In replying Jesus vouchsafes no direct solution of their difficulty. It is as if He said: Do not entangle yourselves in sophistries. Do not seek such logical proofs of Messiahship. Allow the light of truth and righteousness to enter your conscience and your life. “Yet a little while is the light with you.” “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness overtake you” (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:4), that is, lest Jesus, the light of the world, be withdrawn.—καὶ ὁ περιπατῶνὑπάγει, cf. John 11:10.

35. Then Jesus said] Better, Jesus therefore said: instead of answering their contemptuous question He gives them a solemn warning.

while ye have] The better reading is, as ye have: ‘walk in a manner suitable to the fact of there being the Light among you: make use of the Light and work.’

darkness] that darkness ‘in which no man can work.’

come upon you] like a bird of prey. The same Greek verb is used of the last day; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; and in the LXX. of sin overtaking the sinner; Numbers 32:23.

for he that walketh in darkness] And he that walketh in the darkness.

whither he goeth] Or, goeth away; knows not to what end he is departing: comp. 1 John 2:11.

John 12:35. [326] ἜΤΙ, as yet) Jesus does not reply to their objection, but subjoins truths which are most necessary for them.—μικρόν, a little while) The antithetic words are, for ever, John 12:34. The Jews were supposing that the Christ, when once He came, would never be but with them [would always remain with them].—ἐν ὑμῖν, among [with] you) The Light itself remains, but not always among [with] you. So ἐν αὐτοῖς, among them, ch. John 15:24. Ἐν is for the Hebrew ב.—ΠΕΡΙΠΑΤΕῖΤΕ, walk) with onward progress. What is required of us is, to walk, not to dispute. Faith is not indolent, but active in [using] the light, John 12:36.—ΚΑΤΑΛΆΒῌ, overtake) unexpectedly.—καί, and [for]) The conjunction for the relative; in which darkness he who walketh, etc. So καί, and, is used, Luke 24:18, “Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and (who therefore) hast not known the things?” etc.—ποῦ, where) whither.

[326] σὺ λέγεις, Thou sayest) We have them therefore confessing, that Jesus presented Himself to them, so as to be known and acknowledged as the Christ.—V. g.

Verse 35. - Christ's reply is introduced with a simple εϊπεν. Jesus therefore said to them, not in answer to their question, but by taking up a title of dignity that he had claimed before, he evidently assumes to be the Light of the world (John 8:12), and now the time is almost over when they could see its luster or discern other things, either themselves, or their sins, or this world, or the next world, by that Light. The time for further instruction, or remonstrance, or declarations is at an end. The evangelist sums up, in vers. 44-50, the general substance of our Lord's teaching with reference to himself and his disciples and the world which would not believe; and thus, then, in a wonderful way, justifies, as it were, the non-answer to the captious question, "Who is this Son of man?" Yet a little while is the Light amongst you. The "little while" of our Lord's day of ministry was often upon his lips (John 7:33; John 13:33; John 14:19; John 16:16). Verily to his consciousness it must have been but as the twinkling of an eye, and now it was a very little while even for his hearers. Based on this solemn fact, he makes a last public appeal to individuals, propounding gracious invitation, Divine promise, solemn warning; and so he terminated his public ministry, and vanished from before them. As far as the memory of his living words and deeds might influence them, the Light, though not among them, might still shine, and the glory of Pentecost would renew the appeal. Walk as ye have the Light; make progress in the understanding of self, of duty, of time, of eternity, and act accordingly. The ὡς is the reading preferred to the ἕως of the T.R. in this and the following verse by Tischendorf, Meyer, Westport and Hort, and the Revisers' text. Meyer here differs from Godet and others who, accepting the reading ὡς, give it, in virtue of certain passages in the classics, the sense of quamdiu, and justly maintains the sense "as," "in the measure that." According to the light that you see, walk, lest (ἵνα μὴ, "in order that not") darkness overtake you: and he that walketh in the darkness knoweth not whither he goeth; lest the possibility of seeing the Divine revelation in me be taken from you, and lest there be taken away from you that which you seem to have (cf. Jeremiah 13:16). Then, in harmony with the great sayings of John 9:4, 5 and John 11:9, "In the night no man can work;" "In the night, when men cannot see the light of this world, they stumble over unseen perils and pitfalls;" so here, he says, in the darkness that will come upon men from making no use of the Light of the world, "they will not know whither they are going," they will find no work, have no perception of imminent danger, but, driven on and on by measureless force, they will drift over the fathomless unknown into infinite and endless suspense. When the Light of the world is spurned, and a godless evolution made to supply its place, humanity and the world have no goal set before them; there is no end at which they aim - no mind or will to guide the progress of mankind. John 12:35With you (μεθ' ὑμῶν)

The best texts read πάντα, among you.

While ye have (ἕως)

The best texts read ὡς, as: walk in conformity with the fact that you have the Light among you.

Lest darkness come upon you (ἵνα μὴ σξοτία ὑμᾶς καταλάβῃ)

Rev., better, that darkness overtake you not. On overtake see on taketh, Mark 9:18; and see on perceived, Acts 4:13.

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