#8 Eyewitnesses of His Majesty
This blog entry is part of a series through the book of 2nd Peter.
Text: 2 Peter 1: 16-19
“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths 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, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts…"
We Were Eyewitnesses
Consider what a convincing reality it is that men and women walked with Jesus. They were with him in the extraordinary and in the mundane, they camped with him, they ate with him, they were there on groggy mornings and late nights, during times of joy and times of sadness… and after being with Jesus Christ in every facet of life for three years their conclusion was unanimous: He is God. After three years of walking, talking, living and lodging with the man called Jesus of Nazareth, the collective proclamation of those who knew him best was that he was truly the Messiah foretold by the prophets, God in the flesh, Emmanuel.
Having now been two-thousand years since these events took place it is easy for us to forget that the Bible was written through the hands of men who, “were with him on the holy mountain,” men who heard the very voice of the LORD thunder from the heavens, men who at the risk of their own reputations and lives penned the very parchments from which we derive the Bible. This is what Peter means when he says, “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” He wants you to know that the things he is writing about are not legends passed down to him by storytellers and entertainers, these are events in which he himself was a participant.
Something More Sure
But then, just as you would think Peter had reached the pinnacle of his argument he lands the final blow with these six words, “And we have something more sure…” What a truly shocking statement. What could possibly be deserving of more confidence and clout than our own personal experience? His answer is the “prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention.” The chief exhortation of the Apostle in these verses is that his readers put more confidence, conviction, and reverence on the inerrant Word of God than upon even what they see and hear with their own senses. Peter is giving us perhaps the highest view of Scripture offered in the Bible by insisting that the trustworthiness of God’s Word supersedes every other source of understanding in existence. For the Christian, the Word of God is to be held high above every other word, thought, idea, perspective, experience and encounter, bar none. The Word of God is the final authority in all matters of life. This does not mean that our math books have no place, or that our science experiments are of no value, rather it means that all these things find their greatest value when understood and employed under the authority of God’s revealed Word. Anything that contradicts the Bible is to be regarded as false, with no exceptions. This very concept rubs us the wrong way, it feels restricting and confining, but in fact it is the very foundation for our confident expectation of eternal life with God in the new heavens and the new earth. If God’s Word is not infallible, what confidence can we have in any of the "precious and very great promises" therein? (We will see more on why this is the case in the next blog entry, #9, “Men Spoke From God”).
A Lamp Shining
The "prophetic word" is metaphorically spoken of in verse nineteen as, “a lamp shining in a dark place.” The singular form, “a lamp,” is very important for us to take note of. This metaphor means to imply that there is only one source of light by which anyone anywhere can see into what is otherwise dark. That source is the flawless Word of our heavenly Father.
Dear Christian, take care that you do not neglect these truths. You are either walking by the "more sure" light of God’s Word, or you are walking by the deceitful flickering of your own understanding. Building every area of your life upon the foundation of God’s Word is an unmistakable must. If all else falls away, if all our human senses deceive, if false teachers rise up and the church at large becomes overrun with delusions and heresies… still there be a safe harbor for the true believer, a sure anchor in every tempest, the unchangeable Word of your heavenly Father to which you will do well to pay attention.
Let us hold fast to the Word of God as our supreme authority in all matters of life and godliness.