“Therefore, I shall always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. And I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you may be able to call these things to mind.
“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased’- and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.”
2 Peter 1:12-18
Peter knew he was soon to die as he penned this book. Jesus had told him (John 21:18-19) that he would face death as a martyr.Yet he was so concerned about his fellow believers that he took the time to encourage and remind them of the things they had been taught about Jesus.
I love the fact that he also reminds them- and us- that he was an actual eyewitness to these things! He had seen it all transpire, and he was willing to DIE for this Truth.
He actually heard the voice of God proclaiming those words twice- once when John the Baptist had baptized Jesus (Matthew 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22, John 1:32-33), and then the second time on a high mountain where Jesus was transfigured before them- “His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.” (Matthew 17:2) What Peter left out in his account here in 2 Peter is the final line spoken by God this second time- “listen to Him!” (Matthew 17:5b) Wow! 🙂
Peter was an average guy, a married fisherman from the town of Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee who could obviously handle a sword- or maybe not, since he cut off an ear! (Matthew 26:51, Mark 14:47, Luke 22:50, John 18:10), called by Jesus to follow Him, and he followed. He messed up now and then- the above-mentioned ear incident, denying having known Jesus three times during His trials, and Jesus had to reprimand him several times for impetuous things he said and did. However, after Jesus had ascended into heaven, Peter used his passion to earnestly preach the Good News of Jesus, starting with the day of Pentecost, when the disciples received the power of the Holy Spirit- he was able to preach to a large multitude gathered in Jerusalem, and three thousand people believed in Jesus that day alone! Chapters 1-5, 9-12, and 15 in the book of Acts detail Peter’s ministry, and his obedience to Jesus, even through imprisonments, beatings and threats of death.
Peter was willing to, and did, die a painful death for the Truth of Jesus. In fact, secular and church histories tell us that all of the disciples but John died a martyr’s death. Oh, that I might have that passion and obedience in me! 🙂