The missing link
This statement reveals things that most sectarian teachers completely miss about Jesus.
Here Jesus is reflecting on the crowd around him having heard God's voice after Jesus asked God to glorify His Name. Here is the text, from the Gospels of Jesus:
[Jesus said]"Now my mind has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Creator, save me from this time?’ But it was for this purpose that I came to this time. LORD, glorify Your Name.” Then came a voice from the heavens: “I have already glorified it and will glorify it again.” (John 12:28-29)Then, of course, Jesus responds with, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine."
What does this exchange mean?
First, we can know clearly that Jesus is not the Supreme Being. First Jesus asks God to glorify His Name. If Jesus were God, why would he need to ask someone else?
We also know that Jesus is not the Supreme Being because the voice that "came from heaven" did not come from Jesus, since Jesus was standing in front of them.
Secondly, we can know from this event that there is a relationship between Jesus and the Supreme Being. What kind of relationship?
The type of relationship that exists between Jesus and the Supreme Being is made clear by Jesus' statement, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine." What does this indicate? It indicates that Jesus did not need to hear God's voice spoken for all to hear. Why? Because Jesus already enjoyed an intimate loving relationship with the Supreme Being. He was already relating with the Supreme Being from within, and did not need to hear His voice from the outside.
And this leads to the third lesson of this event. God spoke so those around Jesus could believe in God's existence, but He only spoke after Jesus requested that He glorify Himself.
God, as the Supreme Controller, can speak to all of us with a booming or angel-like voice at any moment or all the time if He wanted to. He could appear in front of each of us all the time, and could announce that He is the Supreme Being all day long.
But He doesn't. Why not?
The Supreme Being is currently hidden from our view and our hearing range for a reason. God is hidden because we don't want to see Him. We don't want to hear from Him.
And therein lies the reason we currently occupy these temporary physical bodies in this physical dimension. We are not these physical bodies. These physical bodies change throughout our lives while we occupy them, and then they die and we leave them. The body we had on as a baby is not the same body we have on today. Every atom and molecule that baby body contained is gone and the body we have on now is made up of entirely new atoms, molecules and cells. Logically, since the body is different, yet we are still the same person, we cannot be these physical bodies.
We are not physical at all. Our actual identity is spiritual. Beneath each physical body is a person: an individual with unique feelings, able to exchange love with others.
But somehow we are now stuck occupying a physical body, and worse, we are incorrectly identifying ourselves with this temporary structure. Why?
We have fallen from the spiritual realm because we no longer wanted to maintain our relationship with the Supreme Being We wanted to escape this relationship. So the Supreme Being let us go. He allowed us to take birth in the physical world and pretend to be someone we are not for awhile so that we could effectively ignore Him.
Therein lies a glorious feature of God's personality. God created us to exchange a loving relationship with Him. But love requires freedom. So the Supreme Being does not force Himself upon us. We choose whether we want to love Him or not.
Citizens of the spiritual realm
Those who exchange a loving relationship with the Supreme Being dwell in the spiritual realm. They are eternally happy and blissful as they care for and serve the Supreme Being with all their hearts. Thus they see and hear the Supreme Being every day.
And they want to see Him. The Supreme Being is the most beautiful person. He is not old with gray hair as depicted by many. The Supreme Being is ever-youthful, and the most beautiful being in existence. Those that have the opportunity to look upon Him become fulfilled just by seeing Him. And when He speaks to them, they are in awe of His wondrous musical voice.
We can look around us at the physical world and see that there are so many different relationships going on between people. All of these types of relationships have their source in the spiritual realm. The spiritual realm is full of so many types of relationships, and the Supreme Being has a unique relationship with each of us simultaneously.
Most of the audience heard God's voice differently
This is also going on amongst each of us: He speaks to each of us differently, according not only to our unique relationship with Him, but whether or to what extent that relationship is currently being ignored.
In other words, we are in the physical world because we wanted to get away from our relationship with God. So God programmed this dimension to give us the facilities to forget Him. Here we can pretend to be someone else, and even come to the conclusion that God does not exist.
Yet God never gives up on us. We may not love Him, but He always loves us. So He is always still available to us. And He speaks to us from within according to our current consciousness.
The clarity of God's communications to us are proportional to our sincere desire to hear from Him and return to our relationship with Him. If we are not very serious, His communications come in the form of the various lessons of the physical world. These are the consequences of our actions, along with a distant voice - some call intuition or insight - that embarks the lesson to learn from the situation.
This consequence form of communication is strongest for those who fully reject the Supreme Being. For these, He speaks in lessons. He speaks in situations. The events that unfold amongst the families, jobs, so-called friends and other situations of this world speak to us. They speak to our need to love, and our need to care for others. They attempt to teach us that we are not takers by nature: We are each caregivers, and the consequences of this world gradually teach us that.
To this end, we are each learning our own unique lessons simultaneously. This is how the Supreme Being is communicating with us as we journey through time within the physical dimension.
Then there are those who God has sent here to represent Him and teach us about Him, such as Jesus. Jesus speaks to the Supreme Being and speaks of the Supreme Being not as God (as proposed by many): He speaks to and of the Supreme Being as God's loving servant and representative. God embarked Jesus to teach us about Him, and to request that we return to our lost loving relationship with Him. This means that Jesus is executing his own loving relationship with the Supreme Being while he is teaching us to re-develop our own loving relationship with God.
This reveals the intimate relationship between Jesus and the Supreme Being. After all, God only spoke after Jesus asked Him to. This indicates that the Supreme Being is not just accepting service from Jesus. There is an exchange within their relationship. A loving exchange.
And herein lies the critical lesson of Jesus' statement in John 12:30. Jesus is loving the Supreme Being, and caring for the Supreme Being. He is serving the Supreme Being. He did not need God to prove His existence. Jesus is saying that God's voice is not for his benefit because Jesus is completely comfortable with his current situation: Jesus is doing what is pleasing to the Supreme Being, and they are exchanging a loving relationship.
A person who loves another - truly loves another - with all their heart, is focused on doing what is pleasing to that person. In the case of loving the Supreme Being, the loving servant of God doesn't care if he is being sent to a hellish place (like earth), even if that place results in their physical suffering. They are experiencing a higher taste: they are simply consumed by love for their beloved, the Supreme Being. Their service to God is all they need, and their mission is doing what the Supreme Being wants. They don't need the Supreme Being to appear to them physically because they are already connected with Him within their service to Him. Their love and their loving service is all they need.
Jesus wants us to also have this relationship with God. He wandered the countryside on foot for years, simply asking us to re-develop our loving relationship with God. Thus Jesus' most important instruction to us is very clear:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)