Daily Devotions


Day 165

The voice of God

Text: John 12 : 23-36


What a rare privilege it must be to actually hear the voice of God. Yet, when God spoke to Jesus, few recognized His voice, let alone comprehend what He said.

“Then a voice came from heaven, saying,
‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.'”

John 12:28

We are reminded of God speaking from heaven on the occasion of Jesus being baptized. Luke wrote,

“You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

Luke 3:22

Matthew recorded another instance of God speaking to three of the Disciples who were with Jesus when He was transfigured. To Peter, James and John, God said,

“This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.
Hear Him!”

Matthew 17:5


John noted the reaction of those who heard the voice of God. This text records the general feeling of the people around Jesus as He breathed a quick prayer to His Father.

“Therefore the people who stood by and heard it
said that it had thundered.
Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to Him.'”

John 12:29

Jesus spoke to the people to explain the significance of this verbal response from God in answer to His spontaneous prayer.

“This voice did not come because of Me,
but for your sake.”

John 12:30

Jesus did not need God to speak out loud to Him. He could hear His Father’s softest whisper. What then was the significance of God speaking with a thunderous voice from Heaven? It was for the sake of the people around that God spoke.

1. God wanted the people to know that when His beloved Son whispered a prayer, He would always hear and respond!

2. He wanted them to know that He was close at hand at all times.

3. He wanted the people to know that He endorsed the teachings of Jesus at all times.

4. His Presence, His power and His blessings were on Jesus!

Is it not sad to know that all these great truths were lost to the people?


What was the significance of the death of Jesus? With great carefulness Jesus said,

“‘Now is the judgment of this world;
now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth,
will draw all peoples to Myself.’
This He said, signifying by what death He
would die.”

John 12:31-33

What deep truths Jesus proclaimed in these words! How many understood what He meant? Three important truths were emphasized in this text. Let us take time to ponder over them.

1. “The Judgment of this world”

We are reminded of what John wrote in the beginning of his Gospel.

“He was in the world, and the world was made
through Him, and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him”

John 1:10-11

The Jews plotted the death of Jesus. The Romans would crucify Him. The world would be judged for its treatment of Jesus the Son of God! It had rejected Him. Worse, it had treated Him in the most bizarre and cruel way! The world would be judged for its misdeed against Jesus!

2. “The ruler of the world will be cast out”

Once again, Jesus highlighted the presence of the Devil. He was the one who encouraged the Jews to plot the death of Jesus. He too would be judged. He would be found wanting. He would be cast out and rejected when God judged him. Satan may feel that he had triumphed against Jesus. He couldn’t be more wrong. He would be dealt a deathblow by Jesus. The serpent may bite the heel of Jesus causing His death, but He would mortally wound the serpent in His death.

3. “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”

Jesus spoke of His death in the calmest tone. He had spoken of this subject before. He had said that one day He would be “lifted up from the earth”. This phrase was probably familiar to the Jews. There could be only one reference that would explain the meaning of this phrase. The Jews were familiar with the crucifixions that the Romans would do to convicted felons. They crucified them as a warning to would-be criminals not to trifle with the laws of Rome.

However, Jesus spoke of His death resulting in drawing people to Himself. He would draw not just the Jews but also the Samaritans, and the Greeks (Gentiles) too! What a bold statement of the significance of His death on the cross!