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What Peter Saw


The apostle Peter describes for us his experience on a mountain top where Jesus was transfigured and God Himself spoke from the Heavens. It was a divine encounter that would overwhelm even the most charismatic Christians today. You can read about it in Matthew 17.

What is particularly important though, is what the apostle Peter says about it several years later when he wrote the letter of 2 Peter. Because Christians can easily forget the importance of godliness (I know I do!), and because false teaching often leads people astray, Peter reminds us of our eternal calling and election. He wants to reinforce the truth in which we have been established (2 Pet. 1:12-13).

"Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder…"

Like a lawyer presenting his case in court, Peter calls on 2 things – eyewitness testimony and written accounts. He describes what happened to him, James, and John on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured (Matt. 17). It was a divine encounter unlike any other. Even so, when compared to the written accounts, Peter says

"We ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention…" (2 Pet. 1:18-19)

The apostle Peter makes an absolute distinction between his encounter with the audible voice from heaven and the prophetic word that is Scripture. More importantly, he says that the prophetic word is more fully confirmed. It is a staggering claim because it teaches us that the inscripturated word of God was to Peter as true as can be. His encounters only confirmed what was already sure.

In other words, even without experiencing the transfiguration of Jesus, Peter had all he needed in the Word of God. There is no higher authority or argument that need support what we find in the word of God. As Kevin DeYoung helpfully explains:

"You do not need another special revelation from God outside the Bible. You can listen to the voice of God every day. Christ still speaks, because the Spirit has already spoken. If you want to hear from God, go to the book that records only what he has said."

(Taking God at His Word)

So while we are maintaining social distancing or self-isolation, we need not quarantine ourselves from God. We can hear Him speak, clearer than an audible voice and with absolute truthfulness. Why not pick up your Bible now?

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