He was teaching about servanthood, about losing life in this world and gaining life eternal. He must have been thinking about laying down His own life as He spoke. "Now My heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." (John 12:27-28)
His words became a prayer as He prepared to willingly lay down His life for the world. It was why He came, and He never forgot it. His Father must have been pleased with His servant heart, for He responded audibly for all to hear. "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." (John 12:28)
They heard the voice of Almighty God and thought it was merely a rumble of thunder. Some thought an angel had spoken. It was a gift few have ever received, but they didn't recognize it at all.
Jesus said that sheep know the voice of their shepherd, recognize it, and follow it. It must grieve Him terribly when He speaks but no one listens. I wonder, if God spoke out loud for all the world to hear today, would we recognize it or write it off to the rumblings of harsh weather? Would we open our hearts or our umbrellas?
In the midst of fear, uncertainly, chaos, bombings and terrorist threats, and missing airplanes, perhaps He is speaking. Do you hear thunder or the voice of God?
He speaks; if you will only hear.
Open your ears.
Open your heart.
This article was first published in FOTF Physician magazine March/April 2003.