We are reminded here that Peter has first-hand knowledge of Jesus. He was part of the inner circle. He experienced things and witnessed miraculous wonders the others did not. It’s probable the people for whom he wrote this had never read an account of the Transfiguration (vv 16-18), but it was a story often told to identify Jesus. He was God’s son.
The life Peter had lived following Jesus’ death and resurrection had to have been thrilling. Frightening at times because he was not “politically correct” or even religiously correct. Many early Christians were persecuted and killed for their beliefs. God used Peter up until the end, and here Peter seems to be preparing his audience for his expected death. Peter wants them to remember all he has said and not fall away. How do you make a story memorable?
Peter can remember how easily Satan can intervene – particularly on the night of Jesus’ arrest. Peter denied he even knew Jesus three different times. I am sure that incident never was far from the forefront of Peter’s mind. He made it his life mission to further the kingdom, just as Jesus had asked.
So what about Scripture? Peter is pointing to the prophets as speaking the true word of God. He wants to instill in his listeners that God’s word is to be trusted. God used the prophets to send a message to the people. The message must have sounded very strange to those who originally heard it because it was of future events. Yet, even when prophets warned the people about more impending doom, they were often dismissed and loony tunes. I have a lot of respect for the faithfulness of those prophets and what they endured.
For us today, we have the benefit of the entire Bible. The beauty of the Old Testament is often overlooked, but it points directly at the coming Savior over and over again. The history of our Savior’s earthly family is written and recorded in the Old Testament. The New Testament then is the culmination of the covenant. Jesus was the promised Redeemer. His life was lived so we would be given an example of a life we should model after. His death was all part of the plan to save our lost souls and bring us back to the Father.
Not everyone is up for the challenge to live a Christ-like life. To be a follower of Jesus requires devotion, perseverance, unquestionable faith, and openness. Devotion to be in a constant mode of worship and praise, living a life of thanksgiving even when times are tough. Perseverance to be able to stay the course and overcome objections, hatred, and bullying because of who and what we believe. For when we have unquestionable faith, we cannot be moved and our faith sustains us, it defines who were are. Finally, we must be open to the leading of the Spirit. To do this, we need to be on the alert and be listening.
God will never ask us to do something that will harm us. On the contrary, his ways are the best ways. We often ignore these God “promptings.” Is it because we haven’t learned to listen for God’s voice, or is it due to our own ignorance because we don’t fully trust God’s ways are best for us?
Take a moment to reflect on when and where you hear God speaking to you? If it’s been a while since you have a felt a nudge from God, ask him for one. But, be ready to move when he says move!
Let’s pray. Lord, there are so many voices in my head I sometimes don’t know if it’s your voice or my own wishful thinking. Help me to hear you over all the noise in my head. I thank you for those times when I do feel you smiling at me and shepherding me in a certain direction. I know that you will prepare me and give me all that I need to succeed on the path you have laid before me. There is no need for me to worry or question. Help me to live each day to the fullest, sharing with as many people as I can about you and your love for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.