2 Peter 1:12–21 (NKJV)
In this passage, Peter speaks to his humanity, his mortality, and longs to remind his readers of certain thoughts that point to the need for diligence in serving God, as was seen in the last passage as well. This passage moves further into a discussion of the validity of the word preached to those who would believe. The word is considered prophetic, inspired by God and valid on all counts.
12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.2 Peter 1:12-15
Peter dives into the subject matter by stating his purpose to remind them of all the things they need to know in light of the Lord’s coming. The readers are established in the truth as far as it relates to the here and now. Peter sees the end of his life nearing, as it is proposed that 2 Peter was written in the late first century, between 75 and 100 A.D. If Peter was a contemporary of Jesus Christ, perhaps even a little older, then this would put Peter in the age range of 80-90 years old at least, a very old man at this time. Some even speculate that this letter could have been written by a disciple of Peter’s, a Hellenized Jew. While this is not firmly established, either way it seems to be certain that Peter would have been very old, and definitely looking at death as an inevitability. His desire, whether recorded by him or his disciple, is that his readers be prepared for the time after Peter’s death.
16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.2 Peter 1:16-21
19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Peter then enters into a powerful discussion of the validity and power of the word of God. He begins by defending the kerygma, or preaching, of the church as being founded upon the truth of God’s word, and not upon fables devised by men to fool the gullible. Peter and the other preachers of the gospel came in the power of Christ and spoke of His coming to earth to save the world. Peter and the other apostles were eyewitnesses to Jesus’ majesty. Peter validates Jesus’ deity by alluding to the Father’s endorsement of Him at His baptism and on the Mount of Transfiguration. Peter, James, and John were with Jesus when He was transfigured, shining with glory, and when the Father spoke of His approval of the Son. This divine interaction confirms the prophetic word concerning Jesus Christ. Therefore, this light that shines in darkness should be noticed and perceived until one sees that light dawn and rise in their hearts.
The final statement here moves into a direct endorsement and declaration of the word of God as valid and worthy of acceptance. “No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation….” This statement makes it clear that Scripture is not one’s private thoughts about theology or philosophy or practical living. Instead, prophecy of Scripture was produced as follows: “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” This sentence established the verbal inspiration of the Bible. God inspired the writers of Scripture to write or speak and they wrote under His guidance. Inspire literally means “breathe.” With this in mind, the Scriptures are “God-breathed.” The breath, Spirit, or voice of God moved upon holy men of God to write the holy Scriptures, and they have been passed down to us in the form God intended. Believe the word of God, live by it, trust its content and let it guide your life each day. The prophetic word is sure and true. Embrace it today!