Mark & Beth Brownson
Monday, February 17, 2020
To know Christ and to make Him known

How to Study the Bible: Part G

2 Peter 1:16–21 (NLT)

16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

We are going to focus on the last few verses of this passage where Peter expresses his reliance on the Word of God, despite his experience with the physical Jesus while He was here on earth and the Transfiguration. This was eluded to in Verses 16-18. Now he turns to the importance of the prophets, not just the prophetic books, but all who had a part in the writing of Scripture. He says that their “words are like a lamp shining in a dark place.” We live in a dark world. It is God's Word that allows us to see the truth. It is, as the Old Testament says, “a light unto our path”. It helps us to see danger ahead and if followed, can keep us from many hurts and from hurting others. We need this Word of God, until, as our passage says, the day dawns and Christ, the Morning Star, rises in your hearts. This obviously did not refer to Christ's resurrection, because Peter was calling people to dependence on the Word of God, post resurrection. He is also not speaking of reaching a state of personal enlightenment here on earth, when the Scripture is no longer needed. This was after all, the apostle Peter, who had spent three years of his life with Jesus and seen his Lord after His resurrection. If anyone would have been enlightened to the point of no longer needing the Scriptures, it would have been Peter. But in Verse 19, he says that his experience had made him trust even more the Message through the prophets. Our experience of Jesus through the Holy Spirit should push us to greater trust in the Word of God and dependence upon the Word of God. Someday when Christ returns, lamps will no longer be needed because Jesus, the Living Word of God, will dawn like the sun over Pennsylvania mountains. Until such a time, we are dependent on the Word of God.


 

How to Study the Bible: Part G