John 12:28
Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
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(28) Father, glorify thy name.—The pronoun “Thy” is emphatic. The Son’s will is one with that of the Father; the Son’s glory is in the glorifying the Father’s name. Comp. the opening clause of the Lord’s Prayer (Note on Matthew 6:9 et seq.) and in this context Note on John 12:23.

Then came there a voice from heaven.—The words mean, not that a sound came from heaven, but that there was heard an articulate voice (comp. Note on John 3:8); and that St. John intended his readers to understand this cannot be questioned. He records here a fact parallel to those recorded by the other Evangelists at the Baptism (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 4:22), and at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35), and parallel to that to which St. Luke and St. Paul have testified (Acts 9:4; Acts 22:9; Acts 26:14).

I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.—The words are without limit, extending to the whole past and to the whole future of God’s revelation of Himself to man. The only limit in the context is that this revelation is thought of as in the person of Christ. His words, His works. His life revealing the mercy and love and majesty of the Father, had to many hearts glorified the Father’s name. The wider future is at hand. The death and resurrection are to reveal God’s character, and therefore glorify the Father’s name to all the world. (Comp. Exodus 33:18-19; Exodus 34:5-7.)

John 12:28-30. Father, glorify thy name — Whatever I suffer. For this may be considered as a further expression of his resignation, importing that he was willing to submit to whatever the Father should judge necessary for the manifestation of his perfections: as if he had said, Dispose of me and all my concerns in such a way as may most effectually promote thy glory. The answer, however, that was now given to this part of Christ’s prayer, rather suggests another meaning, namely, that he entreated God to demonstrate, perhaps by an immediate interposition, the truth of his mission, a full proof thereof being altogether necessary for vindicating the honour of God. Accordingly, the words were no sooner spoken, than a voice from heaven was heard, answering distinctly to this sense of them: saying, I have glorified it, and will glorify it again — I have glorified it by the miracles which thou hast already performed, and will continue to glorify it by other miracles yet to be performed. Accordingly, by the miraculous circumstances which accompanied our Lord’s crucifixion, but especially by his resurrection from the dead, by his ascension into heaven, and by the effusion of the Holy Ghost upon his apostles, the truth of Christ’s mission was demonstrated, and the glory of God greatly advanced. The people, therefore, that stood by, and heard it — That is, heard a sound, but not the distinct words; said it thundered — The voice being probably strong and loud as thunder, and evidently preternatural. Others said, An angel spake to him — By this it appears, that it was an articulate voice: none of them, however, took it for a human voice, it being entirely different from any thing they had ever heard. Jesus answered, This voice came not because of me — Nor did I pray for it on my own account; but for your sakes — Not to assure me of the love of my Father, but to confirm you in the belief of my mission, that you may not be offended at the treatment I shall meet with, or quit your hope in me on account of the sufferings which are coming upon me.

12:27-33 The sin of our souls was the troubled of Christ's soul, when he undertook to redeem and save us, and to make his soul an offering for our sin. Christ was willing to suffer, yet prayed to be saved from suffering. Prayer against trouble may well agree with patience under it, and submission to the will of God in it. Our Lord Jesus undertook to satisfy God's injured honour, and he did it by humbling himself. The voice of the Father from heaven, which had declared him to be his beloved Son, at his baptism, and when he was transfigured, was heard proclaiming that He had both glorified his name, and would glorify it. Christ, reconciling the world to God by the merit of his death, broke the power of death, and cast out Satan as a destroyer. Christ, bringing the world to God by the doctrine of his cross, broke the power of sin, and cast out Satan as a deceiver. The soul that was at a distance from Christ, is brought to love him and trust him. Jesus was now going to heaven, and he would draw men's hearts to him thither. There is power in the death of Christ to draw souls to him. We have heard from the gospel that which exalts free grace, and we have heard also that which enjoins duty; we must from the heart embrace both, and not separate them.Glorify thy name - The meaning of this expression in this connection is this: "I am willing to bear any trials; I will not shrink from any sufferings. Let thy name be honored. Let thy character, wisdom, goodness, and plans of mercy be manifested and promoted, whatever sufferings it may cost me." Thus Jesus showed us that God's glory is to be the great end of our conduct, and that we are to seek that, whatever sufferings it may cost us.

I have both glorified it - The word "it" is not here in the original, but it is not improperly supplied by the translators. There can be no doubt that when God says here that he had glorified his name, he refers to what had been done by Christ, and that this was to be understood as an attestation that he attended him and approved his work. See John 12:30. He had honored his name, or had glorified him, by the pure instructions which he had given to man through him; by the power displayed in his miracles; by proclaiming his mercy through him; by appointing him to be the Messiah, etc.

Will glorify it again - By the death, the resurrection, and ascension of his Son, and by extending the blessings of the gospel among all nations. It was thus that he sustained his Son in view of approaching trials; and we may learn:

1. that God will minister grace to us in the prospect of suffering.

2. that the fact that God will be honored by our afflictions should make us willing to hear them.

3. that whatever was done by Christ tended to honor the name of God. This was what he had in view. He lived and suffered, not for himself, but to glorify God in the salvation of men.

28. Father, glorify thy name—by a present testimony.

I have both glorified it—referring specially to the voice from heaven at His baptism, and again at His transfiguration.

and will glorify it again—that is, in the yet future scenes of His still deeper necessity; although this promise was a present and sublime testimony, which would irradiate the clouded spirit of the Son of man.

Father, glorify thy name; that is, make thy name glorious, make it to be known and famous over all the earth. A general petition, but such a one as all our particular requests must be reduced to, if they be according to the will of God. It is as much as, Father, do thine own will: for God is then glorified when his will is done. But it here signifies more: Not my will, but thy will be done. My flesh indeed saith save me from this hour; but, Father, do thy own will, let that be done concerning me which will most tend to make thy name renowned. Such a prayer never goes without an answer.

Then came there a voice from heaven, &c.; the Lord caused a voice as from heaven to be heard. I have glorified it; I have by thee caused my glory to be published and proclaimed in the world, by thy preaching, by thy miracles; and I will perfect that which I have begun, I will glorify it again; thou shalt further glorify me by thy death, by thy resurrection from the dead, by the preaching of the gospel, and carrying it to the ends of the earth.

Father, glorify thy name,.... The perfections of his nature, particularly his justice and holiness, meaning in himself; by his sufferings and death; intimating hereby, that his Father's glory was what he had in view, and that the securing of that would give him an infinite pleasure amidst all his sorrows. The Arabic version, and Nonnus, read "glorify thy Son", as in John 17:1, and the Ethiopic version takes in both, "glorify thy name, and thy Son": and indeed, what glorifies the one, glorifies the other; see John 13:31.

Then came there a voice from heaven; as at his baptism and transfiguration, and which came from the Father, and was an articulate one, and what the Jews call "Bath Kol", or "the daughter of the voice":

saying, I have both, glorified it; meaning in the incarnation, ministry, obedience and miracles of Christ; and particularly in that late one in raising Lazarus from the dead:

and will glorify it again; by supporting him under, and carrying him through his sufferings and death, and by raising him from the dead, and setting him at his own right hand.

Father, {d} glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

(d) So then the Father's glory is Christ's glory.

John 12:28. Therefore He prays: Πάτερ δόξασόν σου τὸ ὄνομα. “Father, glorify Thy name.” Complete that manifestation of Thy holiness and love which through me Thou art making; complete it even at the cost of my agony.—Ἦλθεν οὖν φωνὴδοξάσω. “There came, therefore, a voice out of heaven: I have both glorified it and will again glorify it.” However Jesus might seem in the coming days to be tossed on the sea of human passions, the Father was steadily guiding all to the highest end. The assurance that His death would glorify God was, of course, that which nerved Jesus for its endurance. He was not throwing His life away.

28. Then came there] Better, There came therefore, i.e. in answer to Christ’s prayer. There can be no doubt what S. John wishes us to understand;—that a voice was heard speaking articulate words, that some could distinguish the words, others could not, while some mistook the sounds for thunder. To make the thunder the reality, and the voice and the words mere imagination, is to substitute an arbitrary explanation for the Evangelist’s plain meaning. For similar voices comp. that heard by Elijah (1 Kings 19:12-13); by Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:31); at Christ’s Baptism (Mark 1:11) and Transfiguration (Mark 9:7); and at S. Paul’s Conversion (Acts 9:4; Acts 9:7; Acts 22:9), where it would seem that S. Paul alone could distinguish the words, while his companions merely heard a sound (see on Acts 9:4). One of the conditions on which power to distinguish what is said depends is sympathy with the speaker.

have glorified it] in all God’s works from the Creation onwards, especially in the life of Christ.

will glorify it] in the death of Christ and its results.

John 12:28. Πάτερ, Father) This appellation, lovingly repeated, agrees with the change in the subject of address to Him.—δόξασον) glorify, at any cost whatever to Me. The Father presently after accepts this petition; δοξάσω, I will glorify it. Already the ταραχή, troubling, John 12:27, is past.—σοῦ τὸ ὄνομα) Thy name of Father, which is in Me, as being Thy only-begotten Son: Exodus 23:21, “My name is in Him:” with which comp. Matthew 3:17. [At His baptism] “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” John 17:5, [At the transfiguration, the same testimony of the Father]. Therefore the voice from heaven thrice proclaimed the Son of God.—καὶ ἐδόξασα, I both have glorified) My name. See ch. John 17:5.—πάλιν δοξάσω, I will again glorify it) See the same passage, ch. John 17:5; John 17:1. By the verb, I have glorified, the entrance of Christ upon that hour is accepted [as also His entrance into the world, His sojourn in it being simultaneously implied.—V. g.]; by the verb, I will glorify, there is promised the glorification of the Father’s name through the glorification of Christ owing to His passion [suffering]. To the twofold speech of Jesus the twofold reply of the Father corresponds.

Verses 28, 29. - A heavy thunder-cloud seems to hang over him; for a moment a break in the darkness, a rift in the clouds, presents itself, and, though he might have prayed for legions of angels, he did not. The second Adam knows the issue of the tremendous trial, and, in full apprehension of the answer to his deepest prayer, he cries, Father, glorify thy Name. The "thy" is emphatic. A contrast is implied between the eternal glory and the glory of the Christ. "I am thine; thou art mine;" "Thy will be done;" "Not as I will, but as thou wilt;" "If this cup cannot pass away from me except I drink it, thy will be done;" "Not my will, but thine be done." I bare my breast for the blow; I yield my ψυχή absolutely to thy control! God glorifies himself in many ways, and here we see the highest point to which the human can rise. Godet calls attention to the extraordinary mistake made by Colani, who founds a charge against the Gospel itself on the supposition that these solemn words were, "Father, glorify my Name." The synoptists tell us that at the baptism (Matthew 3:17) and at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5) a literal voice of words was heard from heaven conveying intelligible ideas to John the Baptist and subsequently to Peter, James, and John. And here the same John (son of Zebedee) records, not only that such a kind of voice was repeated on this occasion, but reports the very words themselves. There came therefore a voice out of heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. These words many of the crowd round about him, as well as Jesus himself, distinctly heard. The multitude that stood by said, It has thundered; hearing only a voice of thunder. It will not, however, on that account be fair to this evangelist to say (with Paulus, Lucke, and even Hengstenberg) that there was no objective audible voice which any ear beside that of Jesus could hear, and which none but the mind of Jesus could interpret. It is not sufficient to say "that the thunder and the voice were identical." Hengstenberg quotes numerous passages from the Old Testament where thunder was interpreted to mean the "voice of Jehovah" (1 Samuel 12:18; Psalm 29; Job 37:4; Psalm 18:13), but there are numerous passages both in the Old Testament and in the Gospels and Acts where an objective voice was heard. Such voice was at times accompanied by thunder, but not in the majority of cases. In the promises made in the garden of Eden, in the call of Moses and Samuel, and in the communion that passed between the Lord and Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, Solomon, and Elijah, Jehovah spake in audible words without such auxiliary. When communications were made to Eli, to David, to Hezekiah, and others, they were given by the lips of prophetic men. When the Law was given to all the tribes of Israel, the thunder-trumpet was exceeding loud and long, and the people could not bear the awful experience, so that the Lord was pleased to speak to Moses only, and he was to communicate with the people. The case of Elijah is remarkable because the "still small voice" is distinguished from the thunder, etc., which had preceded it. Why should Hengstenberg have refrained from giving these Old Testament facts their proper weight? The rationalistic view would make the words spoken to have been the inference that either Jesus or John drew from a clap of thunder, and must conclude that the crowd, so far as the objective fact was concerned, were practically in the right. The narrative itself recounts a varied appreciation of a distinct and objective fact. Those who were not alive to any voice from heaven confounded it with thunder, lowered the Divine communication down to an ordinary natural fact. Others, i.e. "a few others," were much nearer to the reality when they said, An angel hath spoken to him (compare reference to the angelic aid that came to the Lord in Gethsemane). The voice of God's plenipotentiary angel speaking in his Name, was recognized as a supernatural communication, though the meaning of it was not grasped (cf. the voice with which Jesus spoke to Paul on the way to Damascus). But we may reasonably suppose that these Greeks, that the disciples who surrounded Jesus, that the beloved John, found in the voice a direct answer to the previous sublime cry of the Lord. The prayer, "Father, glorify thy Name," received the answer, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again; i.e. In thy work and life hitherto, as Prophet, Master, Example, as my beloved Son, my Name has already been glorified in thee, and now in thy approaching sacrificial agony in which thou wilt become perfect as a Priest-King, and the Author of eternal salvation, "I will glorify it again." John 12:28Glorify (δόξασον)

(Wyc., clarify, as the Vulgate clarifca.)


See on Matthew 28:19.

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