THE PROPHET WORD
16 For we
did not follow cleverly devised tales 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, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic
Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased"--18 and we
ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him
on the holy mountain. 19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure,
to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark
place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a
matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made
by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from
This is the epistle text on the Sunday in
the church year (in Norway), where the gospel text on the 1 text
series is about Jesus explanation for the disciples eyes on the
mountain of Tabor.
Jesus inner glory shone thrue, so that it became visible for their
carnal eyes; - “His face shone like the sun, and His garments became
as white as light,” we read about this in Matt. 17:2, and Moses and
Elijah, the representatives for the law and the prophets, revealed
themselves there with Him, - and testified with that for the disciples
about, that He is the one we have testified about.
And that wasn’t the end of
it, as if that wasn’t enough! – But in addition to this the Father
spoke directly to them from heaven, as Peter testifies about here:
“For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an
utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My
beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased” (v.17).
“And we ourselves heard this utterance,” Peter testifies in
(v.18), - and earlier he has said: “ - we were eyewitnesses of
His majesty” (v.16).
“We cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and
heard,” says Peter later on, in a defense speech before the high
council (Acts 4:20).
We are dealing with an
eyewitness; - he was there when it happened!
He was later on willing to die for this, - so you should be certain
of that it wasn’t cleverly devised tales he was dealing with. And if one
man was crazy enough to die for something he knew was a lie, you should
be aware of that also all the other apostles - except one - also died
for the same, - and he who didn’t suffer the martyr death of them, John,
he lived a long life as a victim for persecution because of the
testimony of Jesus Christ; - imprisoned to the prisoner island Patmos
among others where he got the revelation.
They had lived with Jesus,
these men, also after His resurrection. That is a powerful testimony to
Also listen to John the baptizer’s testimony: “I myself have
seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.” (John
God had given him a word in advance: “I did not recognize Him, but
He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the
Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes
in the Holy Spirit.” (John 1:33), - and John had seen this happen with
Jesus! Here you have another eyewitness.
But the religious leaders in
the country, who sat in the high chairs, and administrated the religious
disposition in the country, - Jesus says about them that, among other
things: “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would
know My Father also.” (John 8:19).
And these who were completely blind, who never had had any
salvation meeting with Him whom God had sent, - they sat there as
spiritual authorities, whom the people turned to, to get answers about
questions of the eternity; - something that caused Jesus to cry! (Luke
Jesus shows us how serious this condition was, when He says:
“Behold, your house is being left to you desolate.” (Matt.23:38).
And in year 70 after Christ, Israel became completely obliterated
as a nation, so there was not left any stone upon stone.
That’s how it goes, when the people stay with spiritual leaders who
themselves are blind, and will not have it differently, or receive
correction; - “both will fall into a pit,” Jesus says (Matt.15:14).
On the background of this, -
with regard to both love for Jesus Himself, He who paid the costly prize
– and to the souls, Peter cries out with a big compassion: “We were
eyewitnesses! – We heard! – We saw!”
That’s how it is for every true witness; - he can say to any
person: “I have seen that Jesus is your Savior!” – It’s not
cleverly devised tales, but as
Lina Sandell (Swedish hymn writer) testifies in the song: “It is
revealed to me that I own the child rights, because God with me in
Christ is reconciled.”
Is that revealed to your heart?
Yes, God hasn’t spoken in
the hidden about this – now in this very moment, He sent you
eyewitnesses to His greatness, - and didn’t you hear? Yes, but what is
so hard is to believe that it is especially for me; - I can’t
really find anything by myself that is right.
No, that’s good at least, - because He came to seek and to save
that which isn’t “right”, - that which was lost! (Matt.18:11;
But listen now whether
salvation is for you too when the Word testifies that He died for us
all! – Or when it testifies that He is the atonement for all
the worlds’ sin (1John 2:2).
How would you be able to step outside of that? – Do you have your
origin on another planet? – Or are you shaped by another root, than the
rest of humankind? No, but I don’t know whether I have the right
faith and trust! And it is a lot of truth in that, that you can own a
fake and dead faith, - but if you are struggling here, it is really
because you want something “firm” in your own chest to hold on to, - you
want a visible or tactile proof, before you believe.
But if this is you, there is one thing you must realize here: - it
is not faith in itself that saves you, but Him you believe in!
You actually have your focus in the wrong place!
If I had my faith in my left hand and Jesus in my right, - which
one would you have chosen? I guess the right one! – And this is
God’s testimony isn’t: Look, here is faith, who has been
given to you for salvation, - so you must stretch after it, - no,
the testimony is: Look, here is Jesus, who has been given you for
salvation! – Or as John expresses it in his letter: “And the testimony
(God’s) is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this
life is in His Son.” (1 John 5:11).
Yes, who are these “us” then, who the apostle speaks about here?
And the Word answers: “For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son...” (John 3:16).
This eternal life is given to us all, in Him. As someone
said: You ask: “I wonder if I am among the chosen ones?” You shouldn’t
ask like that, - you should rather ask: “Am I a sinner who needs
salvation? – Am I a sinner to whom God’s undeserved mercy is the only
hope? – Yes, then I am exactly one of them that Jesus came for!”
Peter was an eyewitness to
the wonderful Tabor explanation, - and then we would think that he put
this on the top of everything! – We think pretty soon that if we could
get wonderful manifestations among us, yes, then the people would come
flocking and start believing! Yes, there’s no doubt that people would
come flocking in, - we see that in so many connections, but if they also
want to come to a saving faith, is another thing.
Just read for example John 6, in that connection and learn from it.
No, Peter, he turns it
upside down for us, and puts something much higher than what he had just
seen: “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you
do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the
day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” (v.19).
God’s word! – The Scriptures testimony! – pay attention to that,
because it is like “a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns
and the morning star arises in your hearts.”
That is what stands there and testifies to us, also then, when
visions and revelations, warm feelings and tangible peace is gone, and
everything is normal, or maybe even desolate and cold.
Look at Him! – Whom the law and the prophets testifies about, - He
has been here and made all things well, and now He sits by the Fathers
right hand and speaks our (human being) case! Where He sat down after He
made purification for our sins (Heb.1:3).
There is a story about a father who had been to an evangelistic
meeting together with his daughter; - he had heard the word about
salvation and went home so uplifted and happy. But when he woke up the
morning after, the delightful feelings were gone, and the word he had
heard was as dead; - and he was in despair over this and thought that it
was all just a fraud! Then his little daughter said to him the saving
words: “But daddy, it’s still standing there, the word you heard
Yes, God help us to see
that, because Peter gives us the reasons for that this word is so great
and important: “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of
Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was
ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit
spoke from God.” (v.20-21).
It is simply God’s word!
Holy Bible, New American
Translator: Benedicte Holtan Smart