Tuesday, March 3, 2009

II Peter 1:16b Motivation to Write Scripture II

One day, when I grow up, I’m going to be able to come up with really catchy blog post titles. Until then, I’ll write lame ones like the one above. Honestly, though, as you read verse 15-21 of this chapter you really see Peter’s passionate motivation to put into writing what he had taught these and probably other Christians. Peter knew he would die soon. As difficult as that would be for someone to come to grips with, Peter knew that when he was gone there would be false teachers who would try to lead these believers astray. Since he couldn’t be there for them, he did what he could. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he wrote a letter which would become part of God’s perfect holy word.

As we see, Peter reminded them of the doctrine which they had been taught already. He taught from his authority in Christ (“We did not follow”) and he taught what he knew to be true (“cleverly devised tales”). Furthermore, he taught them about something they didn’t know already. He writes here that he “made known” to them certain truths. The word translated “made known” is the Greek word “gnorizo” (1107) which is related to the Greek word “ginosko” (1097) which means to learn or come to know. He revealed something to them that they had not previously known or been taught. It was these truths that he wanted to remind them of in the letter that he wrote. The false teachers came to these believers claiming to have more advanced or special revelation from God. Peter writes here to remind them that at a specific point in time in the past he had given them the knowledge of Christ. It was that knowledge that saved them. It was that knowledge they should cling to when harassed by false teachers.

But what, you may ask, was it that Peter taught them? What knowledge did he reveal to them? Peter answers this question in his next phrase when he says they made known “the power and coming” of Jesus. He had surely taught them that Jesus Christ was God in human flesh and that He displayed His power through miracles and wonders while ministering here on this earth. I would imagine Peter taught them about his being called to walk on the water with the Lord and how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. Certainly as an eyewitness of the ministry of Jesus, Peter would have many thrilling examples of the wonders he saw while a disciple of the Lord. However, I think he had something else in mind when he wrote these words.

Peter uses a Greek word “parousia” (3952) here that is translated into English as “coming”. The word literally means “to come along side” or “a being near”. It is used 27 times in the New Testament. Of those 27 times, 17 (62.9%) refer to the second coming of the Lord Jesus. I believe Peter was thinking of this blessed hope as he wrote. Our Lord demonstrated His power as He worked miracles and as Paul writes in Romans 1 He was proven to be God when He was raised from the dead. However, it is the image of a conquering King coming to make a final war over sin and sinners that will conclusively show Him to be the King of kings and Lord of lords. To encourage these believers during the trails they would surely face as false teachers tried to lure them away, Peter reminds them of the “power and coming” of the Lord Jesus at His second coming.

Just as these believers were encouraged by Peter’s words as he wrote this scripture, we can take comfort too in the fact that our Lord will return. In His presence in heaven, we won’t have to worry about sin or pain ever again. Our Lord will return for us just as He promised. What a day that will be.


Marcus Goodyear said...

Actually, I think this is a pretty good headline. And it makes me wonder how much Peter was aware that he was "writing scripture."

In fact, I wonder how much any of us are aware that we are being used by God in big or little ways.

Does our awareness (or not) even matter?

Joe Blackmon said...


Thanks for the comment and the visit to my blog. I'm not sure how much they (the authors of the NT) realized that what they were writing was inspired. I would say knowing how God is using us isn't really a big deal one way or the other. We need to be faithful to do what we're called to do.

Thanks again for the visit.