“Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28)
This is the last of three remarkable occasions during the earthly ministry of Christ when God the Father spoke directly from heaven concerning His only begotten Son. The first was at His baptism. “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17; also,Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22). This thrice-recorded testimony was given primarily to the forerunner, John the Baptist, who said, “And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost” (John 1:33).
The second was to three chosen disciples at the transfiguration. “Behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matthew 17:5). Years later Peter recalled, “This voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount” (2 Peter 1:18).
Finally, the Father spoke the words of the opening text, in direct response to the prayer of His Son at the beginning of the final week before His crucifixion. The message was to His Son but for the people. Jesus said, “This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes” (John 12:30) as He spoke of His imminent death on the cross.
When God spoke from heaven, the message was to assure and encourage His own dear ones: John, the disciples, and Jesus Himself. But it has also become an exhortation to all people for all time. Jesus Christ is God’s Son, and God is glorified in Him. Hear Him!