The sound of Jesus’ voice, the actual sound emanating from His glorified voice box, is astonishingly normal. It is so ordinary, I almost missed it.
It is as warm and genuine as a toddler’s smile. His voice originates from some other place outside of my space and my time, yet it is as clear as glass crystal. Each word is pronounced perfectly. He speaks plainly as if He has called me on the phone.
The sound of Jesus’ voice is always, always, always bound in love. He addresses me with a pet name. His voice greets me like a kiss. Even if His words are not what I want to hear, He helps me to swallow them by mixing in the honey of love. His voice is wrapped in an intentional gentleness on account of my human frailty. His voice is heavy with the knowledge of my past traumas, my past pains, my past failures, my present frustrations, my feeble efforts at success. He knows me.
The sound of Jesus’ voice is truth. What is truth? This is what Pontius Pilate asked, echoing the persistent question of our collective human conscience. What is truth? How do I know that this is the voice of truth? Pontius Pilate’s tragic error was in seeking an intellectual answer to a spiritual question.
Let’s set the scene:
From Pontius Pilate’s chair stands a Jewish man, unmarried with no children and no home. There is nothing about the man’s appearance that seems to be redeeming. He is too dark-skinned to be considered an aristocrat or of any noble birth. He is not a graduate from any of the learned and esteemed tutors of that time. He does not hail from a wealthy neighborhood. He does not have any political connections.
The man is homeless, a wanderer. He is the self-proclaimed Messiah, though few believe it. He has a band of followers that left him behind days ago. The man is alone with only his mother crying out in agony from the crowd.
The man is bloodied – bad. One of his own followers betrayed him, paying the common price of a slave (30 pieces of silver) for his arrest. The man’s face is swollen beyond recognition. The man’s back is riddled with open gashes. The man stoops with the weight of iron chains around his wrists. The man looks absolutely pitiful.
Then He speaks to Pilate: “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” [John 37]
What is truth? was Pilate’s reply. Yet, many attributes of truth stood right before him:
Loving – Obedient – Innocent – Of good will – Non-profane -Sacrificial – Ordered – Forgiving – Virtuous – Strong – Powerful – Peaceful – Healing – Teaching – Admonishing – Leading – Glorifying God
The sound of Jesus’ voice is authoritative. There IS a difference between satan’s voice and God’s voice. There is a difference between cognitive replay of dreams or past life events or movies and God’s voice. There is a difference between a distorted mind or even a diseased mind and God’s voice.
His voice has a built-in authority that my human spirit silently acknowledges. It has no other option. No amount of my pride, accomplishments, success, intellectualism, intelligence, or ingenuity can overcome the authority in God’s voice. None.
It is sort of like when a child boasts on the playground, but immediately cow tows when dad comes around. No matter what the child thinks of himself, he knows he will never be as big or as strong or as wise or as loving as his father.
His voice is such heavy granite that the only way to rebel is to simply not listen. My feeble words and sad justifications will never be enough to fire back at Him. The beautifully designed clay teapot is just not on equal footing with its potter.
The sound of Jesus’ voice is unobtrusive. Unlike in Hollywood movies where God is often depicted as an omniscient tyrant, the truth is, He really just pokes His head from the door before walking all the way in. He already knows He is over all and above all and that His presence will overcome everything around Him. But His voice, His voice is like a tip-toeing tiger. When I turn my ear to Him, He comes in and roars.
The sound of Jesus’ voice is firm. And that is what frightens. That is what makes me sit up straight. The firmness in His voice is the whip that keeps me in line. The firmness in His voice reminds me that despite His unconditional love for me, He will not suspend the rules of heaven just for me and no one else.
The firmness in His voice fires a pulsating light of wisdom into me. I must improve in my prayer life. I must make Him more and more the center of my life than my money, my man, my family, my house, my body. He is worthy of continuous praise and I must take that more seriously. He wants to be the joy of my life and I must let Him in deeper.
©Michelle St. Claire 2019. All rights reserved.