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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

GOD'S VOICE CONFIRMS JESUS AS THE CHRIST

John 12:27-30 Now is My soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify Thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to Him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes.

Realizing that the hour of His death on the cross of Calvary was very near, and knowing the physical pain and suffering He must endure, Jesus confessed that, from a human standpoint, Now is My soul troubled. As all human beings would react, Jesus too was experiencing extreme mental anguish. Because it was the will of His Heavenly Father, Jesus must now experience death that His omnipotent power could not prevent and overcome. He had restored life to others, healed their sicknesses, made whole those with physical malformations, and cast demons out of those that were devil possessed. Yet when it came to His own life-threatening perils, Jesus was helpless to prevent what lay in store for Himself. Now at this moment in time, Jesus was humanly suffering extreme mental distress.

He was torn between two requests that He could make to His Heavenly Father. Should He petition God to save Me from this hour, or should He submit to His will and humbly say, for this cause I came into this hour? Just as Jesus did on this occasion, so we should also do when faced with important decisions. He turned to the omniscient wisdom of God, saying, Father, glorify Thy name. Whatever the human cost to Himself, Jesus was willing to bear it in order to bring God's plan of eternal salvation into the world and bring glory and honor to Him. This, too, is our example. Whatever the cost may be, we should conduct our lives in a manner that will bring glory to God. We should never say or do anything that may cause others to spiritually stumble and possibly lose their souls. Rather, to the best of our abilities, we should influence others in a way that will encourage them to accept the Creator of all things as their God, and His Son, Jesus Christ, as their eternal Savior. With Jesus' complete submission to His Heavenly Father, there came a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. God's voice was heard by all at that moment of time, and by inference, is heard by us today. He gave an unconditional conformation that Jesus was His Son. And, in doing so, God approved, not only, the miraculous works of Jesus, but also the example He left all men and women of the world by His conduct, and by the New Testament doctrine of eternal salvation that He had begun, which was completed by His Holy Spirit-inspired disciples. By these deeds of Jesus, God was glorified. But the voice from heaven stated further that He will glorify it again, that is by His death, burial, and resurrection.

The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to Him. Although it seems that all present on that occasion heard the divine voice, it was not clear to some where it came from or who was speaking. With Jesus' answer, all should have been assured that it was the voice of God. He said, This voice came not because of Me, but for your sakes. Jesus knew His fate would be death by crucifixion, so the voice was not for His benefit. Rather, it came to establish and confirm His Son, Jesus, as the promised Messiah to all the people. The thundering voice especially came to establish the faith of His apostles and other disciples that followed Him, for all Jews had difficulty understanding that He must die so that sins could be forgiven and reconciliation could be made with God.

How often, and how many times, does mankind have to be reminded and assured that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world. In this lesson text, the booming voice of God gave the entire multitude that had assembled around Jesus assurance of His deity. This same voice of God, on two significant occasions, had previously testified: This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased (Matt. 3:17; 17:5), with the latter account adding, hear ye Him. Old Testament prophets, on occasions, too numerous to mention in this abbreviated lesson, spoke of God's promised Messiah, and when fully studied and comprehended, all identified Jesus as the fulfillment of His promise. Why He, as well as the doctrine He taught, was rejected by the religious leaders and their followers then, and why He, and the His Holy Spirit-inspired gospel of salvation, is rejected by most of the world today, defies any scriptural explanation. We simply ask, Why?