…Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. John 12:28-29
The people of Israel were craving a king – someone with strength and power to deliver them from earthly political turmoil. But Jesus was the king they weren’t expecting. We would deliver them from eternal turmoil.
Even God the Father spoke as a voice from heaven for all the people present to hear, and still the people did not understand who Jesus was. “It was just thunder, or maybe an angel.”
It’s easy to criticize the people of Israel for seeming so oblivious. Yet, we too ignore God or fail to recognize or appreciate his power and presence among us. We are quick to judge, but we need the King, too. He came two thousand years ago, enduring torturous pain on our behalf. And he will return again to draw all believers to himself. And in the meantime, he blesses us with his Word, his gifts of baptism and holy communion, and prayer so that we can talk to him and be blessed with his presence, right here and now.
It is for our benefit, not his.