- “This voice was for your benefit, not mine” (John 12:30).
When God’s voice boomed from Heaven, affirming that He would continue to glorify His name through the Son, Jesus states that the Voice was for their benefit, not His. Yet, the text also tells us that some thought the sound was thunder, while others assumed an angel was speaking. If the Voice was for their benefit, why was it received so unclearly? We often want to assume that if God would just take the “guesswork” out of faith, everyone would believe, but such an idea undermines the true meaning of faith. What they heard would be dictated by their willingness to believe. People will settle on an explanation for any event, and their judgment reveals whether they have the capacity or willingness to believe. Those who heard thunder likely could not accept that God would speak from Heaven. Even those who suggested an angelic source likely were unwilling to believe that their God would speak to Jesus directly. But, those who knew Him to be God himself, like John the author, had no difficulty with the Voice’s true identity. Faith isn’t designed for surety. Faith reveals the heart of the hearer. It can only be present in the place of apparent uncertainty.