The external audible voice in the life of Christ.
When I study the bible I see only three recorded incidences when God spoke to Christ with an external audible voice. Now Christ is God, He is the son of the living God, part of the Godhead but God didn’t see it fit in 33 years of life to speak to him in an audible voice more than three times. And yet God speaks to some of us audibly every 3rd day. How holy and how pure? Doesn’t that scare you, somebody hears God more than Christ was hearing him?
Matthew 4:16, 17
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
This is the first incidence when God spoke to Christ in an audible voice. God was endorsing the life of Christ and He was speaking to the commencement of his earthly ministry and because it was so critical and significant and had worldwide impact and would change eternity God chose to speak with an external audible voice. You will study the bible and discover that whenever God speaks with an external audible voice, it has such significance eternally in the agenda of God that God wants to speak it in such a way that there will be no doubt as to whether He spoke or not. There is no confusion about it. So He made sure there was an audience which heard when He endorsed his son. He was saying “you have been waiting for the Messiah, waiting for Christ, waiting for the Lamb of God now I endorse him. Hence I say before you that this is the Messiah, this is the hope of Israel, the hope of the nations.” It needed a validation from God.
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
When the three disciples heard the external audible voice come from heaven at the mountain of transfiguration, they were mortified. This was a pivotal moment as the Messiah started his journey towards Calvary.
John 12:27-30 –
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name.
Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
This was just before he went to the Cross and was agonising, weary and burdened. He was thinking about your sins and my sins. He was thinking about the burden that he who had always had fellowship with God, and for the very first time in eternity was going to be separated from God. The Father was going to turn His back against him and for the first time he would know what it means when God hides his face from a person. There was a trembling inside his heart, there was worry, anxiety; will it work, how will it feel to know darkness to feel the depravity of sin, bearing on your body the sin of the whole world from eternity past to eternity future. On one man, the concentration of wickedness, sin charged on him, bearing it; and bearing the wrath of God. And as he was considering that – he was troubled in mind and was saying “Should I go to the cross or not?” He was making that decision. And as he had just prayed and said though it is such a burden to me, glorify your name, and then God spoke a word of vindication. I want you to see the immensity of the significance of the circumstances that allowed God to speak in this audible voice because that’s one thing you see throughout the bible that whenever God speaks with his external audible voice there is an immensity of significance to the event that is about to happen. So if you come and tell me that God spoke to you with an external audible voice, I want to see the significance of the event. Is it as earth shaking as the things we see in the bible? The destiny of the eternity of souls and the destiny of the agenda of God was at stake in that decision he made. That is why God comforted him by saying I have already glorified my name. So God was vindicating Christ. He was encouraging him. It was that voice that gave him the courage and stamina to endure the cross. The bible says for the joy set before him he endured the cross- which joy? That his joy would be glorified, that his name would be vindicated, and that God would raise him again from the dead because God had spoken in an unshakable, undisputable way and because of that voice he could endure the cross to bear our sins and die on the cross. It is because of that voice that today when we call on the name of Christ our sins are forgiven because God has said I will glorify the name of Christ. That is why the bible says there is no other name in heaven and on earth that was given to men by which men may be saved. So the power in the name of Christ derives from that promise that God made in an audible voice that “I have glorified the name of the son and I will glorify it again.” That is why the bible says he has given him a name that is above every name. He says his name is excellent. You can make a choice. Do you want to find salvation in Nehanda’s name, in your ancestor’s name or you want to find salvation in the name that heaven salutes, the name that God honours, the name that God has glorified
So what do we discover? We discover that other people heard the voice when God spoke to Christ. Now the thing that I have discovered as I study the bible is that most of the incidences there were witnesses to that external voice. If you want to hear the external voice of God when you are alone, I am sceptical. There should be witnesses, there were in the life of Christ. And you see the significance of the times in his life that God spoke.