Hearing God’s audible voice must have been incredible! Once was in our John 12 passage. Can you name the other two?
We left off after reading John 12:27, so let’s pick up there:
27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
The crowd was confused at this point, but Jesus set them straight,
29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.
The three times in Jesus’ life that God spoke out loud publicly were times when Jesus was entering into a new stage of ministry.
- The first time was at Jesus’ baptism, “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” Matthew 3:17.
- The second time was on the mount of Transfiguration, “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
- The third time was when Jesus was entering into His final stage of ministry, Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again” John 12:27.
Jesus then announced this final stage,
31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
- Jesus wanted them to hear His exchange with the Father.
- Judgment was now coming on this world. Judgment of what? To “break the power of him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil,” the prince of this world (Hebrews 2:14).
- “Lifted up” means, “exalted.” I believe that Jesus is referring to the raising of the snake on a pole (see Numbers 21:1-9) because of His statement to Nicodemus in John 3:14-15, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
The other word in verse 32 that gives us trouble is, “draw.” The Greek is helskyso, which means, “to drag or pull,” as with a fishing net. Examples are: the disciples’ nets were so full that they dragged (helskyso) the fish ashore (John 21:11); Paul and Silas were dragged (helskyso) before the magistrates (Acts 16:19). Are people dragged into salvation with God? Absolutely not! That would nullify their ability to choose. Here is another metaphor: Jesus was on one side of the Grand Canyon and we were on another side with a half mile down and half mile across separating us, then Jesus reached over and pulled our side up next to His. Now there is NO SEPARATION between us and God. All a person has to do is turn and be saved (Isaiah 45:22). This illustration is by no means a complete picture of what Christ did for us. In fact, we could spend the next 1000 years discovering all that went into the Passion week of Christ, i.e. His entry in Jerusalem, His teaching on the temple grounds, His arrest, trial, and crucifixion, and His resurrection. The assuring thing is that we know it’s all true!
Let’s thank Jesus for all He went through to get us back. He is our Great Rescuer, the Victorious Christ (Christus Victor).
Abba, Your salvation is so big that there is no way for us to get our arms around it. What stands out to me is Your great love for us. May we bask in the waterfall of Your love, O Lord. Amen.