You can click HERE to read the passage.
There are two things that immediately struck me when I read this passage…
1) I was baffled by the way that Jesus responded to questions that he was asked on two occasions. The first was a request by some Greeks who asked if they could see Jesus (vs 20-22). Jesus’ reply had nothing to do with this request. The second was a question put to Him by people in the crowd that He was addressing regarding His reference to Himself as “The Son of Man” (v.34). Again His reply seemingly had nothing to do with the question.
It’s as if at this point in the unfolding drama, that Jesus is so focused on what lies before Him that he will not allow anything to distract Him. He knows that His time is short. And whereas in earlier passages He took as much time as was needed for people and “divine interruptions”, now His priority is the cross and He will not be deterred.
I am the same way at times. There are times (as my wife will attest to) that I become so focused on something that I don’t hear anything that anybody is saying. Unfortunately my focus is generally not for so noble a cause as the cross and the redemption of man. It takes people who have a fierce, undeterred focus to change the world. This is what Jesus had.
2) As best I can find there are only 3 instances in the Newer Testament where the Voice of God thunders out loud from the heavens. It was heard at Jesus’ baptism (Mark 1:11). And it was heard at the Transfiguration (Mark 9:7). And it was heard here (verse 28). God chose 3 pivotal times to speak. The first time was for the sake of Jesus – “You are my Son whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” The second time was for the sake of the disciples – “This is my Son whom I love. Listen to Him.” And this third time was again for the sake of Jesus and was confirmation that what He was doing was God honoring and God glorifying – “I have glorified it (your name) and will glorify it again.”
This third time was in response to a prayer that Jesus prayed. He was conflicted in His soul as we see Jesus the man and Jesus the Son of God having an emotional battle. Is this not what we deal with all the time? In our flesh we grow weary and want to quit but in the Spirit we are buoyed to press on and find strength for the journey before us.And it is often in prayer that we find what we need from God. It is when we forget or fail to come before God that our flesh will often get the better of us.
“Father, thank You for the gift of prayer and how You delight for me to come to You with all my cares and worries and weariness. And thank You that You fuel me daily with the strength and the joy that I need for each new day.”
Next Week’s Passage: John 13:1-18