So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have….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….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. - 2 Peter 1:12,16,19
One of my greatest fears as a pastor is that my church will find me uninteresting and repetitive. However, Peter seems to challenge my understanding of what it means to be a Pastor. While I think that I should come up with new and novel things to say each week, Peter asserted the importance of repeating the same simple instructions to his readers. His desire was that they remember, not that they be impressed. Interestingly enough, when our church has kept our focus on the basic truths, we are accused of being too elementary or not deep enough (This has happened by people in Bible Studies at our church). Peter affirms repeating the basic truths as often as we can, while we have the chance and never assuming that because people have heard it before it need not be repeated.
We were eyewitnesses of his majesty
Peter affirms the importance of eye-witness accounts of the power of God at work in Jesus. Of course, we should all be eye-witnesses of his majesty as he works in our own lives. However, we have also been given eyewitness accounts in the Gospels and the affirmation of those same accounts through the epistles that the early church affirmed as having apostolic authority. There are many who would affirm a message different from that recorded in the Scriptures. These are often ways of explaining away the difficult passages that are not consistent with popular theology in our culture. However, Peter calls these “cleverly devised stories” and contrasts them with the power of the Gospel as presented in the eyewitness accounts.
We also have the prophetic message
In case it is difficult to believe the eyewitness accounts, Peter directs his readers to look into the prophetic accounts that were affirmed as completely reliable even prior to the coming of Christ. These accounts pointed to the coming of Christ and He came just as they said. Thus, they confirm the accounts of the apostles.
You will do well to pay attention to it
At the beginning of this chapter, Peter declares his basic theology of the power of God in Christ and His empowerment of us to live the lives he has called us to. He then directs believers to make every effort to add to our faith in the power that He has given us that we may be effective and productive in our knowledge of Him. Then, he affirms his own authority as an eyewitness to declare this as the power of the gospel and reminds his readers of the prophetic message that affirms its truth. Then he says, you would pay attention to this message if you knew what was good for you. This is not a threat, it’s a promise! He wants God’s plan for his readers, so he suggests that they pay attention to the message he presents. In case this all wasn’t enough, he reminds them of a very familiar message about Jesus’ role as light in the world and in our lives.
All of this is used as a warning and a protection against false teachers that would lead believers into a false Gospel. Next week, we will dig deeper into the nature of false teachings and false teachers.