Peter 40 - Such an Utterance

Such an Utterance

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. So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2Peter 1:16-21)

We know Peter’s message is important. Peter says he has a message which makes one secure in heaven: “as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you” (2Peter 1:10-11). He says that people need to hear this message again and again (2Peter 1:12-15) and that men would need this message after he is gone (2Peter 1:15). Now he tells us that his message is not something which men had cleverly devised (2Peter 1:16).

Peter knows his message is not a made-up falsity—Peter was an eyewitness of Jesus when Jesus received recognition from God (2Peter 1:17; Matthew 17:1-5). He knew exactly what to say about Jesus from an eyewitness standpoint. He also knew what to say because Peter, as well as other men of God, had a message which is made more sure the words of prophecy: “we have the prophetic word made more sure” (2Peter 1:19).

Peter makes clear that Scripture is of God—men were moved by the Holy Spirit (2Peter 1:20-21). Peter didn’t get to make up what he thought prophecy was about, because holy men spoke as the Holy Spirit directed them. The apostle Paul, too, insisted his message was not made up by man, either: “For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man” (Galatians 1:11-24). Paul insisted that Scripture is from God, too. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work”  (2Timothy 3:16-17). None of the apostles interpreted prophecy as they saw fit. They spoke it as it was given to them.

In time past, God spoke to man directly from his mouth (Genesis 3:8-24). Other examples of this can be found (Acts 7:2,3; Genesis 12:1; Exodus 3:2-6). To the fathers of old, God spoke in various ways. “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways” (Hebrews 1:1-3). Sometimes God used unusual methods. God talked to Balaam through his donkey (Numbers 22:28). God spoke to Solomon in a dream (1Kings 3:5). God communicated with Belshazzar through handwriting on a wall which Daniel explained (Daniel 5:5,18). God disclosed His will to Israel through written words (Deuteronomy 10:1-2; 27:3). Of course, God also spoke through prophets. There were many prophets of God, both by oral and written means. This is what Peter was talking about when he said that holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2Peter 1:20-21).

In these last days, the writer of Hebrews states that God speaks by the Son (Hebrews 1:1-3). Peter explains in our text, that this takes place through those who were eyewitnesses of His majesty. Paul further explains how the apostles got the message of God: “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words” (1Corinthians 2:9-13). These words were spoken and also written. “By revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:3-5). “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look” (1Peter 1:10-12).

Peter says that such an utterance is to be heard and remembered (2Peter 1:12-15). Have you given thought as to how you will react to “such an utterance”?