Heavenly Conversations – Part 2

[All quotations are taken from the New King James version of the Bible]

Just hours away from His arrest, one that led to His atoning death on the cross, Jesus, having spoken in metaphorical terms of His death and its consequences, John 12. 24-26, expresses something of His deep anguish at what lies before Him. He poses a rhetorical question to those with Him, ‘Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour”?’ v. 27. Analogous to this, in His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane He says, ‘O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt’, Matt. 26. 39, but here Jesus emphatically says, ‘But for this purpose I came to this hour’, John 12. 27. He continues, ‘Father, glorify thy name’, v. 28. Here, the Father replies, ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again’. Not everyone who was present understood what was said, however, as Jesus says to those present, ‘This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes’, v. 30.

John chapter 17 records the Lord’s prayer. We do not have the Father’s reply to the Son in the Gospel record. However, we do have the Father’s reply in His actions, as was preached on the day of Pentecost, ‘This Jesus God hath raised up, whereof we all are witnesses’, Acts 2. 32. Similarly, Paul writes, ‘concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead’, Rom. 1. 3, 4. The resurrection of Jesus is the Father’s demonstration of His approval of the work of His Son. The final cry from the cross, in John’s Gospel, is, ‘finished’, John 19. 30!


We learn about others from their conversations. Although probably a somewhat artificial example, we can see or hear interviews of people in the public eye and glean something of their character from what we hear. At a personal level, talking to others gives us a sense of beginning to know them. In a similar vein, from these heavenly conversations, we can learn a little of the relationship between members of the triune Godhead.

The ‘Us and Our’ conversations are at pivotal points in human history, i.e., the creation of man, the ejection of man from Eden, and the confusion of languages. The first event shows something of the triune God. He is outside of time; He is powerful, and He places man at the pinnacle of His creation. The second event shows God guarding His holiness. The third event was a necessary one. At Babel there was an attempt to create a man-made religion. We suggest that with the building of a city and a tower to be the centre of the religion, this was the archetypal man-made religion, one of works, which is diametrically opposed to the gospel of grace. The triune God’s intervention was a necessary one to preserve the line of faith and is a stark lesson that man cannot build his way to God. Salvation is not man trying to find God, but God reaching out in grace to man. Further, it was at this point that population migration started, Gen. 11. 9. Noah and his sons had been commanded to ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth’, 9. 1, something that had not really taken place up to that point. However, with the confusion of languages, groups, no doubt speaking the same language, moved out from Babel to all parts of the earth. This pivotal point in human history is one that is still clearly evident today.

The fourth ‘Us and Our’ conversation raised the question, ‘Who will go for us?’, and the corresponding reply can, at least devotionally, if not typologically, be seen as the Son willingly volunteering to enter creation, on behalf of the triune God, to accomplish our salvation via the cross.

The other conversations we have had before us are conversations between two persons of the Godhead: The Father and the Son. These conversations often are about some aspect of our salvation. Our salvation could not be effected under the old covenant; a new one was a necessity, with a different priesthood. As the Father declares, Ps. 110. 4, the Son is the eternal High Priest of an unchangeable priesthood of the new covenant after the order of Melchizedek, Heb. 7. 21, 24, 26.

God’s plan of salvation required a servant, a perfect servant, to execute the plan. We see Jesus as the Servant of Jehovah, the one who could say, ‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work’, John 4. 34. As the bondservant He could say, ‘mine ears hast thou opened’, Ps. 40. 6; Exod. 21. 6; ‘I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart’, Ps. 40. 8. In His high priestly prayer, He says to the Father, ‘I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do’, John 17. 4. Although not part of a heavenly conversation, from the cross He declares to the world the triumphal cry, ‘finished’, John 19. 30.

The overheard conversational fragments in the Gospel narrative are for our benefit. They show the continual approval of the work of Christ by the Father and act as a confirmation, if there were any doubt, as to who He is, and what He was doing.

Although the heavenly conversations recorded for us are short and infrequent in scripture, they are of immense value as they give us an insight into the inner nature of the triune God.


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