PETER’S WILL AND TESTAMENT
Lord, Your Word is sure.
Read 2 PETER 1:12–21
Prophecy of Scripture
12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”[a] 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
a 2 Peter 1:17 Matt. 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35
New International Version (NIV)
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“I am listening, Lord, for thee; / Master, speak, O speak to me!” (Frances Ridley Havergal, 1836–1879).
Peter makes clear to his audience that he is close to death (prophesied by Jesus in John 21:18,19), so this passage is something of a last will and testament. It is important, then, that his readers pay attention (13–15).
Most of the world and even a few in the church have questioned the reality of Jesus’ imminent return, since it has yet to come to pass. As we shall see later in the book, this has caused some to believe they can behave as they wish without fear of consequence. Peter asserts that the return of Jesus is based on eyewitness accounts of his life, which he compares with eyewitness accounts of the transfiguration: both testimonies should be believed (16,17). For Peter, this underlines the truth that the prophets’ hope of the reality of Jesus is also secure.
Peter exhorts the church to heed the prophetic word because it comes not from humans but from God—and, by addressing this issue, he introduces the doctrine of biblical inspiration. When Peter speaks of the prophets, it is probable that he includes the whole of the Old Testament. Christians of different traditions and persuasions read the Bible with diverse understandings and perspectives—and do so with integrity—but most find common ground in understanding it as both a divine and a human document. God speaks through the Bible but in the context, culture and understanding of real human beings of their era and location.
For Peter, the message of the prophets—and therefore the Bible—is reliable and can be trusted. It removes the darkness, revealing things for what they really are, and puts our lives, worldview and morals into perspective. The promises of God can be held onto with certain hope, as certain as that the sun will rise tomorrow (19).
What are some of God’s promises that you have held onto? Are you as certain of the reality of these as you are that the sun will rise tomorrow?
Lord, thank You for including eyewitnesses to Your ministry, death and resurrection, all for our benefit.