John 9:1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Jesus heals this man and gives him sight. Giving sight to the blind is a picture of salvation. Therefore salvation is what is in view by the reference to, "the works of God should be made manifest in him." The works of God in this man's case would be to receive his physical eyesight-pointing to what happens when God does the work of saving a sinner.
John 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
Jesus said that He must work the works of (the Father) that sent Him. He also said that these particular works can only be worked "while it is day". Interesting-what could this mean? Is there any way for us to learn what these "works" were? Yes, we can learn exactly what works it is Christ is referring to-by allowing the Bible to explain itself to us:
John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
According to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the "work of God" is "that ye believe". That is, God saved a people for Himself by granting them the gift of faith (Christ's faith) which caused them to believe. Clearly, the "work of God" is salvation.
That's two things in John 9:3,4 that lead us to understand that the work in view that Christ can only perform while it’s day, has to do with salvation. As a matter of fact, even the reference to "day" ties in with salvation:
2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
Twice in the verse above God makes reference to the "day of salvation".
First, we have Jesus about to do the work of healing a blind man (picturing salvation).
Second, we have the statement that He must work the works of the One who sent Him-tied in with John 6:28,29 also points to salvation.
Third, we have the fact that these works (of salvation) can only be done during the day and not during the night that follows. Again, the day-relates to the day of salvation.
Further, Jesus' reference to "day" also must be defined by what we read in John chapter 11. In the verses below we also find language indicating the dangers of the night that follows the day:
John 11:9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
Are there not 12 hours in the day? Obviously, we know that right from the beginning when God created the celestial time keepers that a day is 24 hours long. Why then does Jesus speak of a 12 hour day? Because He is speaking of the work day (remember, this is the work of God that ye believe).
Jesus said in John 11:9 that there are 12 hours in a day. We know He's referring to the work day (the work of God is that you believe) and the work day in turn is referring to what the Bible calls, "the Day of Salvation". The 12 hour period is in view in a parable found in the gospel of Matthew:
Matthew 20:1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
2 And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
4 And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.
8 So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.
9 And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
10 But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house,
12 Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
The householder who hires laborers to work in his vineyard is, of course, a picture of God Himself. The vineyard, by producing fruit, is a type of God's program of salvation wherein spiritual fruit is brought into the kingdom of God.
Notice that laborers are hired at regular (three hour) intervals during the day, until the 11th hour. That group of people, said to have been standing around idle all the day, are finally put to work. We know from the parable itself that they worked from the 11th hour for one hour-until the 12th hour. Then the work day ended.
Yes, Matthew 20's parable supports Jesus' words, "Are there not twelve hours in the day?" Also, by separating the last group of people hired at the eleventh hour, and letting us know they only worked one hour total, God is revealing to us that the great tribulation period, typified in the Bible by one hour is in view at the close of the gospel's work day.
To say it another way, the great tribulation, as we have understood the Biblical timeline for it, was indeed the last big push by God to complete His Day of Salvation. Once that one hour period (11th to 12th) completed, so too did the 12 hour work day come to a close wherein the Lord Jesus Christ was now done doing the works He was sent forth to do. The end of the 12 hour work day (6 am to 6 pm) brought us to the evening, or to the night time-a time when no man (Christ) can work any longer.