"As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4)
What does 'night is coming' mean?Jesus says, "Night is coming, when no one can work." What is this night that is coming?
Jesus is referring to a coming period in Israel when preaching about God will become more difficult. This period of 'night' begins after Jesus gets crucified, as the Romans and the Jewish temple officials start to distrust each other in a bigger way, and those who followed Jesus will be hunted down and persecuted - which is what happened to James and Peter.
This 'night' period continues through the Jewish-Roman Wars, which last for about 70 years from 66 CE until 135 CE. During this period, there is little ability to widely preach to people. During this time, the Romans burnt down villages and massacred Jewish and Christian people with impunity.
Jesus recognizes that the opportunity to reach people with his preaching is now, before he is arrested and persecuted. And before the entire Jewish nation breaks down in a conflagration with the Romans.
Who is 'Him who sent me'?The 'Him' that Jesus is referring to is undoubtedly the Supreme Being. Jesus spent his life glorifying God, praying to God, teaching about God, and acting as a messenger from God. There is no other way to see this:
Jesus is clearly identifying his objectives and his position as a loving servant of the Supreme Being.
"We must do the work of Him who sent me" indicates service. Anyone who does the work of someone else is serving that person. Now if the person does the work of another voluntarily and lovingly, then that person is the loving servant of the person.
Furthermore, Jesus is clearly indicating that the "Him" being referred to actually sent Jesus ("Him who sent me"). So not only is Jesus serving this Person, but this Person actually dispatched Jesus. This Person dispatched Jesus and had work for Jesus to do.
But isn't Jesus God?Now let's consider for a moment the implications of this statement if the teachings of so many modern-day institutions that Jesus is the Supreme Being were correct. Who, then would Jesus be referring to? Was Jesus creating a fictitious person or something - like Harvey the rabbit?
Certainly not. Jesus is obviously referring to the Supreme Being here. Jesus is clearly stating that God dispatched Jesus, and Jesus is serving God. How much clearer can Jesus be about his mission and objectives?
Those who claim that Jesus is the Supreme Being have a dilemma. If we accept that God is the Supreme Being and Omniscient Personality who is All-Powerful, why would God be sent by someone else? Why would God be serving someone else?
Those who claim that Jesus is God do not know the Supreme Being. They have manufactured a speculative philosophy that has no basis in scripture, nor in the direct statements of Jesus. In other words, they are ignoring the very Person Jesus was serving!
What is the Nicene Creed?This concept was born from the Synods of Nicea, first organized by Constantine in a political attempt to control Christianity and therefore Europe. Here a politically-appointed council of officials began dictating church doctrine and sat in judgment upon other teachers, even condemning some who were teaching the Truth. They also threw out and burned many scriptures that did not meet with their political agenda (of controlling the population), and created the "Nicene Creed," which made broad interpretations of Jesus' message and who Jesus was.
For example, part of the Nicene Creed describes Jesus Christ thus:
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only son of God,
begotten of his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God
The Nicene Creed says, "one Lord." That means they accept Jesus as the Supreme Being.
And while they describe Jesus as the only son of God, in the next sentence they say that God begot God ("God of God"). What does this mean? Either Jesus is the son of God or he is God. Which is it?
Furthermore - in the first line - by saying they believe in one Lord - Jesus Christ - they are thereby eliminating the Father from the equation.
Does God need to suffer for our sins?Some teach that Jesus was God manifested into a man so God could suffer for our sins.
Why should God have become a man to suffer for our sins? And why does He have to suffer at all?
This provokes the logical question of why God should have to suffer? He is God, isn't He? Now if you were God, would you want to suffer? Certainly not. Someone who is in full control, as God is, would never be obligated to suffer because God is in complete control.
God is eternally blissful. He is in complete control. If God wanted to wipe away the consequences of our self-centered activities ("sins") then He could do it with a simple thought. He has no limitations. He has no obligations. God would never need to suffer for anyone's sins.
So why did this political council produce this teaching? A hint might be taken from the fact that this same creed also states:
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.The creed is an attempt to create a politically cohesive teaching that made it so there was only one church and one teaching that could save a person. They wanted to eliminate all the various teachers and teachings that circulated around the Roman territories and planned conquests, so they could create one religion and dominate that religion and therefore dominate the people. This is why the Nicene Creed emphasized that Jesus was the "only" son of God.
Was Jesus the only son of God?Such a thesis contradicts scripture and all of Jesus' teachings. Consider these statements from different books of the Bible:
When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. (Genesis 6:2)
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:4)
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. (Job 1:6)
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD. (Job 2:1)
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7)
But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12)Jesus himself said:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” (Matt. 5:9)Jesus’ early followers also confirm this translation:
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14)
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)So we find that being the son of God is not exclusive to Jesus. But they answer that Jesus is the only "begotten" son of God. Begotten, of course, means to give birth to, or create. So are we saying that God did not give birth to and create each of us? This, again, contradicts scripture, which clearly states that God created everything, including each of us:
This is what God the LORD says - He who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it: (Isaiah 42:5)Now if God is giving "life" to those who walk on the earth, is God not begetting every person?
What is the basis for their knowledge? Their basis is simply the ecclesiastical teachings of elected church officials who parroted the Nicene Creed language over the centuries, for fear that they would be tortured - as the church did to those that spoke out of line. And so the concept has been drummed into every church parishioner repeatedly until everyone blindly believed it.
People also believed in the teachings of Jim Jones, who eventually murdered hundreds of his followers. So believing in someone's teachings doesn't mean those teachings are correct.
Actually, the translation to the word "son" is not even correct in most of the instances above, and in most of the statements regarding Jesus in scripture. The Greek word being translated to "son" in most instances in the books of the New Testament is υioς.
Here is the meaning of this word according to Thayer's lexicon:
"used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower - of teachers - i.q. pupils."
"one who is connected with or belongs to a thing by any kind of close relationship."
"instructed in evangelical truth and devotedly obedient to it"
"one to whom anything belongs"
"those to whom the phrophetic and covenant promises belong"
"The Jews called the Messiah υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ pre-eminently, as the supreme representative of God"
This translation to loving servant would clarify the other statements mentioned above:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called servants of God.” (Matt. 5:9)
“…because those who are led by the Spirit of God are servants of God.” (Romans 8:14)
“You are all servants of God through faith in Christ Jesus…” (Galatians 3:26)This translation to servants - or loving servants - is also consistent with Jesus' statement here in John 9:4. Jesus is clearly identifying himself and those who follow him as God's loving servants: "As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me."
Notice that Jesus uses the word "we" in this statement. This obviously contradicts the notion that Jesus was God's only servant.
God has innumerable loving servants. And He will send His loving servants here to the earth ("Him who sent me") to bring us back to Him.
Thus we have an additional context to add to the translation of υioς within the context of Jesus' being sent by God:
Isn't Jesus better defined as God's representative?God is not some vague force or burning bush or voice in the sky. The Supreme Being is a person. God is an individual. Someone who sends another is separate from the person they are sending. That is why they are sending someone - because the person they are sending is separate from themselves.
The Supreme Person wants us back. Each of us has a unique relationship with God, and at some point, we rejected that relationship. So we are here in this physical world as a rehabilitation center. And these physical bodies are simply temporary vehicles we operate for a while, to enable us to learn lessons about love and compassion.
The Supreme Person is trying to show us who we really are and why we can only be happy when we are re-situated in our original position as His loving servant.
This is why Jesus' primary instruction was:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)
*Here is the translation of this verse according to the Lost Gospels of Jesus:
"We must do the service of Him who sent me as long as it is day. Night is coming, when no one can work." (John 9:4)