The Voice from Heaven
Lenten greetings in Jesus’ name!
Many times over the years I have heard people say, “I just wish a voice from heaven would speak to me.” Generally, the circumstances are similar – people want divine guidance for their lives; they want the Lord to tell them what to do. Should I take this job? Should I marry this man or woman? What kind of career should I pursue? The list of circumstances where godly wisdom would be helpful is endless.
Now, I can say without hesitation that the Lord has spoken to me frequently. Most often that has happened while reading Scripture, during prayer, through daily circumstances, and sometimes in what I can only describe as “impressions” given to me by the Holy Spirit, in various ways. I can also definitively say that the Lord has never spoken to me in a voice from heaven. I also have never had anyone tell me that they have been so blessed.
So, while we may wish for the voice from heaven, odds are, it isn’t going to happen. This Sunday’s passage makes me wonder if it’s because the voice from heaven has already spoken and said what we need to hear?
Three times in the New Testament, the Lord speaks to Jesus and those around him. First, at Jesus’ baptism the voice says, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11). Second, at Jesus’ transfiguration the voice repeats, “This is my Son, whom I love,” but adds “Listen to him” (Mark 9:7). Third, from our text for Sunday, John 12:28, the voice declares, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
In John 12:20-33, Jesus is teaching about his impending death as he is already in Jerusalem for Passover. He emphatically states that his “hour has come” and that it is when he will be “glorified.” Glorified in death upon a cross? That seems odd. Paradoxical, in fact. Well, just in case the strangeness of Jesus’ words may have people confused, Jesus prays, “Father, glorify your name!” The Father in heaven puts his stamp of approval on what his Son has said by announcing, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Yes, as weird as it sounds, Jesus will be glorified through death on a cross.
The voice from heaven has already spoken and told us three very important things: Jesus is his dearly beloved Son and we should, therefore, listen to him; and, he will be glorified by dying a sacrificial death so that many will gain eternal life. So, while the voice from heaven has not told us specifically whom we should marry, what he has told us is not bad for 32 words!
Have a great day and keep your eyes on Jesus!