Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. John 12:28-29
There are three times in Jesus’ ministry when a voice speaks from heaven.
- The first, at his baptism: “This is my beloved son in whom I am well-pleased.” — helping us to see that Jesus’ earthly life for all of those years for which we have little information was also a sinless one, establishing him at the very beginning of his ministry as God’s son — this wasn’t something that Jesus grew into over time.
- And remember the next one? On the mount of transfiguration, Peter sees Jesus with Moses and Elijah — these two personages who were so exalted in Jewish history and heritage. And Peter treats them all equally, saying “I’ll build booths for all three of you.” And the voice from heaven says “This is my son! Listen to him.” — establishing that Jesus is over and above Moses and Elijah, as great as they were.
- And now here, finally, at the end of his public ministry, once more a voice from heaven sounds. The voice is saying, “Yes, my name has been glorified in the way you have lived and taught; my name will be glorified that much more in your suffering and your death, and your resurrection.” Well, Jesus explains this to the crowd:
John 12:30 “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.