Tuesday, November 29, 2005

2 Peter 1:12–21

Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.

We continue this week with Peter, only this is his second letter. Here Peter is very much the teacher providing encouragement and instruction to his students. Peter speaks with the authority of someone that personally witnessed Jesus and his glorification. He proclaims Jesus as the “—beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased”. He knows that Jesus is the Son of God because he personally heard the voice of God make the proclamation. This “fact” is not from human interpretation but from the voice of God as heard by Peter.

Peter is looking ahead in time to when those like him that personally witnessed Christ would be gone. He starts the passage by acknowledging that his readers already know the truth and that he is only reminding them and arousing them. Peter predicts his own demise and indicates that he will “see to it” that they can be constantly reminded of the truth.

Here Peter is establishing the Church as a means of keeping the community of believers together and constantly reminded of the truth. He is obviously concerned about how individual interpretation of what Christ did could destroy the truth. He suggests that the community requires a continuing link with those who have the authority to speak the truth “as men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke (en) from God”.

There was a time in my religious experience (or lack of it) where I questioned the need for priests. My early churching was in the Presbyterian Church and I saw the need for someone to lead the “meeting” and preach and teach. I didn’t recognize the need for much else. Then my darling wife (girlfriend at the time) introduced me to Anglicanism where I saw a real priest for the first time. Now I know what Peter was talking about. This passage indicates the difference between Paul and Peter and their messages. The approach may be different but both sacrificed their life to ensure the truth was told and that it survived forever. May God bless them both?

John Dickie

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