The Word is Out

This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles. 2 Peter 3:1-2

I wonder why Peter waited until Chapter 3 to disclose why he was writing. This doesn’t conform with the formula of telling your readers what you’re going to tell them in the introduction, telling them what you want to tell them in the body of the work, and concluding with a summary of what you just told them. Answer an essay question in this fashion and you’ll always earn points with your professor, even if you have only one point you can remember, especially if he or she’s grading a pile of blue booklets. But it does fit with his objective to provide us with one last reminder.

With Peter’s final words to us (literally) he reminds us to remember all his previous words, and all the words of the prophets, and the words of the Lord recalled by his apostles, even Paul’s that were pretty heavy, so that we might be stirred up to action, assuming that we are sincere in our pursuits of God, ready to react and respond in obedience.

We’re told why in verse 3 and following; the mockers are coming with their mocking. He was expecting his readers to react obediently as Joseph did to the news of Mary’s untimely pregnancy, to marry her straightaway. The word in the Greek for “stirring up” (diegeiro), or to stimulate, was in fact used in Matthew 1:24 to describe Joseph’s immediate response to the angel’s stunning news.

It’s interesting to note that by the time Peter wrote his swan song, some 19 books of the New Testament had been written, including his first letter. From his comment on Paul’s writings, the word must have gotten out. This is not to mention the entirety of the Old Testament.

All the above is to say this. There’s no excuse to not know the word. There’s no excuse to be caught flat-footed. We have been warned. Know this for certain, that mockers mock with lies and twisted statements. They lie through their teeth. To retain our peace of mind, and to confront them face to face, we need to know and use the truth. When Jesus was mocked, what he did offer up was the truth, and it stung. It may evoke a philosophical response like Pilate’s “What is truth,” but it’ll get them thinking. What we say might be “pearls before swine,” but we’ll have done our jobs. In any case, the truth, our truth, will set us free.

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for 40 years and counting.
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