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Eyes Wide Open: 2 Peter 1:12-21

Eyes Wide Open: Reminded
John Witte

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. 16 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. 17 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,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, 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, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 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 1:12–21 (ESV)

Near the end of His time on earth, Jesus told Peter about how he would die, and our verses today reflect Peter’s remembrance of that conversation. Peter’s words indicate that Jesus had given him even more specific knowledge that his death was imminent. In many ways, this book is Peter’s reflection on his life and the things that matter most.

WATCH—This clip from the message:
QUESTION— Tell the group about a person no longer living whom you remember
well. What made them so memorable? What did they say and do that shaped your

READ— John 21:1-19 and 2 Peter 1:12-15

Peter knew he was near the end of his life. Jesus told him something about it in the
days following His resurrection, and Peter now knows it “will be soon.”

QUESTION— If someone could tell you when you will die, would you want to
know? How would that knowledge shape your life? How would your conversation
with friends and family change as you approached the time?

READ— Matthew 17:1–8, Mark 9:2–8, Luke 9:28–36 and 2 Peter 1:16-18
The transfiguration of Jesus was unforgettable, and it shaped Peter’s life. It was not enough, however, to prevent him from denying Jesus before the crucifixion.

QUESTION— How was it possible for Peter to witness the dramatic transformation
of Jesus and still later deny him?

QUESTION— How do the circumstances of our lives cause us to forget our faith?
READ— 2 Peter 1:19-21 and Hebrews 1:1-4

QUESTION— Many years had passed between Peter’s days of following Jesus during his ministry on earth and following his resurrection as a church leader. How was “the prophetic word more fully confirmed” during those years?

READ— 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 3:15-16

“All Scripture” refers first to the Old Testament and the apostles’ words, which were already considered as Scripture by this time.

QUESTION—In 2 Peter 1:21, Peter says the writers were “carried along by the Holy
Spirit.” In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Paul says Scripture is “breathed out by God.” How do
you think God revealed His word to the writers of scripture?

DIG DEEPER: Scripture
God occasionally dictated the exact words He wanted prophets to say, and they
obeyed by saying, “Thus says the Lord….” In most cases, God inspired them, and
their chosen words reflected their vocabulary, education, and personality. John
sounds like a fisherman, Luke sounds like a physician, and Paul sounds like a highly
educated theologian. Each of them wrote Scripture as the Holy Spirit inspired them.
In 2 Timothy 3:16, the Greek word translated “breathed out” is θεόπνευστος
(theopneustos) which does not occur in any other Greek text (biblical or otherwise.)
Paul is coining a term from words meaning “God” and “breathed,” which indicates
the author’s authority. Scripture is not just inspiring to the reader; God inspired it to the writer.

“They were carried along” means the inspiration of Scripture was invisibly directed by the Holy Spirit, though without overriding the personalities of the human authors. Scripture is entirely the Word of God, even though it is recorded in the words of
human beings.

“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 1:21 (ESV)
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