John 11:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 11:10, NIV: "It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.'"

John 11:10, ESV: "But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”"

John 11:10, KJV: "But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him."

John 11:10, NASB: "But if anyone walks during the night, he stumbles, because the light is not inhim.'"

John 11:10, NLT: "But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.'"

John 11:10, CSB: "But if anyone walks during the night, he does stumble, because the light is not in him.""

What does John 11:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Here Jesus contrasts the idea of those who walk according to the knowledge of God—"walk[ing] in the day"—with those who ignore or rebel against God. His disciples are concerned because Jesus intends to travel back into Judea, close to the religious leaders who want Him dead (John 11:7–8). What they do not know is that Jesus means to resurrect Lazarus, providing yet another sign of His divine power (John 11:1–4, 41–44).

In the prior verse, Jesus spoke of the need to "walk in the day," since that light allowed a person to travel safely. Here, Jesus contrasts this with walking in the night. The lack of light presents danger—a person cannot see the path, or obstacles, or other hazards. This follows a common metaphor used in the Bible, where light represents the will and knowledge of God.

In short, Jesus is reminding His disciples that following God is always the "safest" course of action, even when the world sees it as foolish or dangerous. That's not to say that following God's will keeps Christians from all possible harm. Quite the opposite; obedience to Christ can result in persecution and death (John 16:1–2). Rather, it means that God is in control, and our most beneficial choice is to follow His lead. He'll provide as much protection as His will requires.