For the corresponding sermon to this scripture passage, listen here: http://crossview.info/sermons/2014_06_15_AM.mp3
Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Peter 1:12-21
Both I and 2 Peter are concerned with the certainty of “the end”. They both emphasize that present events serve a future reality, and the future gives meaning to present suffering and struggles. While I Peter dealt with suffering brought about by forces outside the Christian community, 2 Peter deals with trouble caused by false teaching within the church. The main focus of 2 Peter is establishing and passing on the official teaching of the apostles, especially in light of the fact that most of them have already been martyred or soon will be. A martyr is someone who is executed for their beliefs. All of the apostles were martyrs except John.
Our scripture focus for today can be divided into three sections, each conveying one solemn truth. Verses 12-15 mark this entire letter as a testament. A testament served as the final words of its author, and would have been read after the author’s death. Peter says that Christ had somehow revealed to him that he was getting ready to die. We don’t know if this was a prophetic revelation, a dream or vision, or if Christ had just allowed Peter to understand the truth of his circumstances. What was important for Peter to convey to those he left behind was that they remember the truth of his teachings.
This brings us to the next solemn appeal. In verses 16-18, Peter wants his churches to know that the gospel he taught them is not based on human legends or hearsay. He and the other apostles were actual eyewitnesses. Not only did they see, hear, and know Jesus, but Peter was right next to Him on the mountain when he was transfigured. This refers to the event detailed in Mark 9:2-8 when Jesus took his closest disciples to the top of a mountain. They caught a glimpse of Him in His divine glory. Moses and Elijah appeared with Him, and God spoke from the heavens, confirming that Jesus was the Christ.
Verses 19-21 give the third solemn appeal. Not only do we have the apostle’s teaching and his eyewitness account, but we have the scriptures. What we now call the Old Testament was the only Bible that Jesus, Peter, and the early church had. Peter says that these scriptures are all prophetic. In other words, they weren’t just words written down by people of their own accord, but were inspired by God to point us to the first and second coming of Jesus Christ. They were written so that people might glorify God as they see the truths foretold in scripture unfold. Peter wanted his churches to know that even after he died, they could hold on to the precious promises of God’s word, which will never die.
- Go around the table and share prayer requests. Have someone lead in prayer.
- Let everyone who would like to share anything exciting from their week.
- Ask these three questions. Let as many answer each one as they would like.
If you could make sure your friends and loved ones remembered one lesson you’ve learned in life after you are gone, what would it be?
Is there anything in today’s scripture that especially speaks to you?
What questions would you like to ask about today’s scripture?