It was the third time the Father had spoken audibly to Jesus while He was in the presence of others.
Greek Jews had come to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover feast and they’re looking for Jesus. Philip and Andrew found Jesus and brought these seekers to Him. With a crowd gathered around, Jesus began to speak of His death.
In John 12:27-28 Jesus uttered a simple, audible prayer in their presence.
Now my soul is troubled, and what will I say, “Father, save me from this hour?’ Yet because of this, I came to this hour. ‘Father, glorify your name.”
Then the Father speaks.
“Then there came a voice out of Heaven, ‘I both glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
At Jesus’ baptism, the Father first spoke audibly to Jesus in the presence of John the Baptist and others. “You are My Son, whom I love. With You I am well pleased.”
Then at the Transfiguration, the Father spoke audibly to Jesus with Peter, James and John listening. “This is my Son, whom I love: with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him.”
The first two times we see the Father speaking, the number who hear Him is limited. At the Baptism, we only know of John the Baptist and Jesus hearing the Father’s voice. Maybe others did also, but we’re not told who. At the Transfiguration (Matthew 17) it’s only Peter, James and John.
Now here at the Temple, there is a crowd. Some thought they heard thunder. Others thought it was the voice of an angel.
Each time the Father spoke audibly, it was for confirmation. It was for authentication.
At the Baptism, the confirmation was for John. This is the One I’ve sent. This is the One you’ve been preparing the way for. This is the Messiah. And yet I believe at that point, the confirmation was also for Jesus Himself. Your time Has come! Let’s get it on!
At the Transfiguration, the confirmation was for Jesus’ three closest friends: Peter, James and John. He’s just told them He must go to Jerusalem and die. Peter says “never!” He’s rebuked as a “Satan” for not being willing to accept the Father’s plan. These three friends would need this confirmation to accept the Father’s plan. Things were about to get ugly.
Then at Passover week, with the crowd listening on, the Father gave confirmation that what was about to happen was for His glory. The shame of the cross would become the glory of Heaven!
It makes me wonder. How could Peter, James and John, hearing the Father speak to them a second time, still give way to fear and doubt in the face of the cross? Wouldn’t the Father’s voice be enough?
It also makes me wonder. Had the Father spoken audibly to Jesus at other times? Was this a regular occurrence, but these are the only accounts recorded for us.
We read of Jesus continually getting away to pray. Did He regularly hear the Father’s voice. Probably many of us imagine that Jesus did hear the Father’s voice in a way that we do not.
For me, I think Jesus might have had occasional “audible” interactions with the Father, but I imagine that in His humanity His prayers were much more like ours. I want to believe that we can interact intimately with our Father just as Jesus did. After all, He was “made like us in every way” and were invited to “walk as Jesus walked.”
Father, I want to know you more intimately. My Abba, my Papa, my Daddy. I want to pray as Jesus prayed!
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