Being a lifelong public speaker, teacher, communicator, story-telling kind of guy, give me a couple of minutes to dream up something, and I can lay a pretty wild yarn on you! And I do love telling stories that are funny or that illustrate a teaching point. When speaking, I try to always make it clear when I’m telling a made-up story by saying something like, “Imagine if there was a fellow who …” versus telling you something that really happened about which I was a participant or witness. But once in a while, one of those real-life true stories is so wild and unimaginable, that I feel like I need to qualify it by saying, “I’m not making this up – it really happened.”
In a way, that is what Peter is saying in today’s reading. He is communicating to his readers that he is not fabricating the things he is saying and teaching – that he really did hear the voice from heaven at Christ’s baptism, and that he was on the Mount of Transfiguration and saw the glory of Christ. And by sharing this message, he stood in a long line of prophets dating back from 500 to 1500 years – people who likewise shared information they gained through incredible experiences and revelations by the Holy Spirit.
Peter’s point to his readers is this: “I have not devised all the things you have been taught any more than the old prophets fabricated their stories. This is timeless truth that you had better heed in your lives if you want to be successful, and as long as I’m alive, I am going to remind you of these things. And I’m even making efforts to have it written down so that after I’m gone (looks to be pretty soon), you are going to continue to be reminded of this truth.”
And that is our vision as a church leadership – to have a multi-generational community of people who know and apply the Scriptures. This week we have seen that without Christ, you/we/TSF can do nothing … NOTHING. So we had better be tied to Christ and letting his life flow through us… and that demands we be people of the Word. All of this works together.
And speaking of “together” … that is the theme for this coming week – encouraging one another spiritually. It is a fantastic theme! Really, it is – I’m not making that up!
2 Peter 1:12-21
12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
16 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. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 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. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.