Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A More Sure Prophetic Word

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, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:16-21, ESV)

[Spoiler alert: For those in my homegroup--this is tonight's lesson.]

Peter starts off by saying that they didn't follow cleverly devised myths. He says, "Hey, this isn't a made up story." "We've seen," he says (v.16), "and we've heard" (v.18). Because of his experience, he was sure of what he said.

But then Peter goes on to say something extremely interesting. You might think he'd spend more time talking about his own experience, into more depth as to how that made him sure. Instead, he says that there is something even "more sure," and that something is "the prophetic word." Now he's not talking about a prophet speaking a "word from the Lord" in the modern day sense; he is talking about Scripture (cf. v.20).

This passage blows me away. Here Peter is saying that Scripture is so sure that he trusts it even more than his own eyes and ears. And that is how we need to view Scripture, too.

Peter may have gotten this from Jesus. Do you remember the story of the rich man & Lazarus the beggar from Luke 16? The rich man, who was in torment, asked that someone be sent to warn his family. How did Abraham reply? "They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them." (v.29). But perhaps the most sobering is what comes next. "If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead." Isn't that chilling? But that's exactly what happens. Just like the rich man's family, who didn't believe Moses and the prophets, if people today won't believe the testimony about Jesus from Scripture, then they won't even believe after he rises rose from the dead.

I've often wondered what it would be like to travel back in time to Jesus' day. At times I've even thought that my life might be different if only I had seen Jesus. But Scripture says otherwise; both in the passages mentioned above, and in other places, we find that Scripture is so sufficient and complete. I'm so thankful to live in a time where we have God's full revelation--what a blessing!

Some of you may know that I've spent the last few days posting about prophecy over on Phil's blog. For those who believe that prophecy is still active, I hope the message here is clear: instead of spending time chasing around some new revelation, spend some time in what God has already revealed. For those who don't--yeah, it's the same--spend more time in God's word.

1 comment:

Kim said...

I have had it proven to me time and time again that my own perception of things is absolutely, 100% unreliable and self-involved. Scripture, on the other hand, well, it does not have the misfortune of being hindered by my weak perceptions.

Excellent, post, Matt.