August 3 Morning Verse of The Day

12:28 This is one of only three times during Jesus’s earthly ministry when a heavenly voice attested to his identity (cp. his baptism and his transfiguration, Mt 3:13–17; 17:1–13 and parallels).[1]

12:28 a voice came from heaven. In three places in the Gospels the Father speaks directly from heaven about Jesus: at His baptism (Matt. 3:17), at the Transfiguration (Matt. 17:5), and here. For the benefit of the disciples (v. 30), the Father places His seal of approval upon Jesus’ saving work.[2]

12:28 glorified it Jesus glorified His Father’s name by performing signs and following the Father’s will even when doing so was painful or difficult (11:47; compare 11:33).

glorify it again When Jesus suffers and dies on behalf of God’s people.[3]

12:28 This is one of three instances during Jesus’ earthly ministry where a heavenly voice attests to his identity (the other two are his baptism and the transfiguration; Matt. 3:17; 17:5).[4]

12:28 glorify Your name. This request embodied the principle that Jesus lived by and would die by. See 7:18; 8:29, 50. I have … and will glorify. The Father answered the Son in an audible voice. This is only one of 3 instances during Jesus’ ministry when this took place (cf. Mt 3:17—His baptism; 17:5—His transfiguration).[5]

12:28 Instead of praying that He might be saved from the cross, the Lord Jesus rather prayed that the name of His Father might be glorified. He was more interested that honor should come to God than in His own comfort or safety. God now spoke from heaven, saying that He had glorified His Name and would glorify it again. The Name of God was glorified during the earthly ministry of Jesus. The thirty silent years in Nazareth, the three years of public ministry, the wonderful words and works of the Savior—all of these greatly glorified the Name of the Father. But still greater glory would be brought to God through the death, burial, resurrection, and Ascension of Christ.[6]

12:28 “glorify Your name” The Father responds in v. 28b. This term “glorify” is very fluid. It can refer to (1) pre-existent glory (cf. 17:5); (2) Jesus’ revelation of the Father (cf. 17:4); or (3) Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection (cf. 17:1).

© “a voice out of heaven” The rabbis called this a bath-kol. Since the time of Malachi there had been no prophetic voice in Israel. If God’s will was to be confirmed, it would be done by a voice from heaven. The Gospels record that God spoke three times during Jesus’ life: (1) at Jesus’ baptism, Matt. 3:17; (2) at the transfiguration, Matt. 17:5; and (3) here in this verse.[7]

28. Father, glorify thy name. By these words he testifies, that he prefers the glory of the Father to all things else, and even neglects and disregards his own life. And the true regulation of all our desires is, to seek the glory of God in such a manner that all other things shall give way to it; for it ought to be reckoned by us an abundant recompense, leading us to endure patiently all that is vexatious or irksome.

I have both glorified it. It is as if he had said, “I will finish what I have begun;” for God never leaveth the work of his hands imperfect, as it is said, Ps. 138:8. But as it is the purpose of God to prevent the offence of the cross, he not only promises that the death of Christ will be glorious, but also mentions with commendation the numerous ornaments with which he had already adorned it.[8]

28 Whether with the “wrong” prayer or the “right” one, Jesus addresses God as “Father” just as at the raising of Lazarus (11:41), and in his last prayer (see 17:1, 5, 11, 21, 24, 25). The “right” prayer, “Father, glorify your name” (v. 28a), could easily be read as a variant of the Lukan form of the so-called “Lord’s Prayer” (“Father, hallowed be your name,” Lk 11:2), a prayer not oriented toward a particular decisive “hour,” but one appropriate for Jesus or his followers at any time or in any place (“When you pray, say …,” Lk 11:2). The “right” prayer, in short, seems to have been for Jesus a “normal” prayer, one that he prayed quite commonly and consistently, not a special or exceptional prayer designed for this one occasion.

This is perhaps in keeping with the answer given at once, and audibly: “Then a voice came from the sky, ‘I have both glorified, and I will glorify again’ ” (v. 28b). The voice “from the sky” (or from heaven) recalls the voice at Jesus’ baptism and the voice “from the cloud” at his transfiguration in the synoptic accounts, and like them has to be understood as the voice of the Father, this time in response to Jesus’ prayer. Aside from God’s (presumably private) words to John (1:33), it is the only time God speaks in the entire Gospel. On the assumption that the glorification of God’s name is the same as the glorification of Jesus himself, “the Son of man” (v. 23), it appears that the promise, “I will glorify again,” refers to Jesus’ “hour” now at hand. But what is meant by the first part of the pronouncement, “I have … glorified”? It is probably pointless to look for precise references within the story such as Jesus’ birth or baptism, neither of which are even mentioned in this Gospel. Rather, the voice is reminding Jesus of the consistent relationship he has always enjoyed with the Father, not just from the beginning of his ministry but from eternity (see, for example, 8:29, “for I always do the things that please him”; 11:42, “I knew that you always hear me”). As Jesus told “the Jews” four chapters earlier, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, him whom you say that ‘He is our God’ ” (8:54). The Gospel’s presupposition is that God “glorifies his name” by glorifying his Son, and in one sense that glorification goes on continually throughout the narrative (see, for example, 1:14; 2:11; 11:4, 40; 17:4), having begun presumably with the sending of the Son into the world. Nevertheless, the voice does not let us forget that a final “glorification” is imminent, and will be the dominant theme from here on.[9]

28 Jesus prays that the Father will glorify his name, a prayer in which the overruling sovereignty of God is implied. The aorist tense in the verb perhaps indicates a single act, and if so it will be the cross that is in mind. There supremely the name of God was glorified. The response to this prayer is a voice from heaven, the voice of God himself. “I have glorified it” is in the aorist tense, but it is not easy to know which action is in mind. The baptism of Jesus, with the voice from heaven, or the transfiguration with the similar phenomenon, would meet the situation, but unfortunately John records neither. It may be that we should attach little significance to the tense. The perfect active of the verb is never used in the New Testament and the aorist may well be used here with something of the meaning of the perfect, in which case we need not search for one specific occasion. The future, “will glorify,” is a little easier. In this place it will refer to the cross.[10]


[1] Wellum, S. J. (2017). Incarnation and Christology. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1692). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1536). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Jn 12:28). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2049). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Jn 12:28). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1538). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Utley, R. J. (1999). The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John (Vol. Volume 4, p. 114). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[8] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Gospel according to John (Vol. 2, p. 35). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[9] Michaels, J. R. (2010). The Gospel of John (pp. 693–694). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[10] Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John (pp. 529–530). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

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