When we hear a fanciful story, it is all too easy to dismiss it – often rightly so. But when it turns out that the event has witnesses, it has to be taken more seriously, and the more witnesses, the more believable it becomes.
2 Peter 1:16-21 (CEV)
The Message about the Glory of Christ
16 When we told you about the power and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not telling clever stories that someone had made up. But with our own eyes we saw his true greatness. 17 God, our great and wonderful Father, truly honored him by saying, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him.” 18 We were there with Jesus on the holy mountain and heard this voice speak from heaven.
19 All of this makes us even more certain that what the prophets said is true. So you should pay close attention to their message, as you would to a lamp shining in some dark place. You must keep on paying attention until daylight comes and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 But you need to realize that no one alone can understand any of the prophecies in the Scriptures. 21 The prophets did not think these things up on their own, but they were guided by the Spirit of God.
There appear to be mutterings about the truth of what Peter has told them, questions about the validity about what they are claiming about Jesus. So Peter writes to assure them that these are not made up stories, but these are truths that he and others have seen with their own eyes. They were there at the transfiguration (coming tomorrow); they heard the voice declaring,
This is my beloved son.
They had seen with their own eyes and heard with their own ears. This is not a second or third hand account, but the truth told by someone who was there. And what they saw and heard in Jesus made them more convinced of their faith in the Old Testament prophets too.
These are not made up stories, they are God talking to his people – and notice should be taken.
We do not have the privilege of seeing Jesus as he lived and walked on this earth. But, we do have the knowledge of his presence in our lives day by day. I know what he has done in and through me. It is not a wild story, but a truth. We will each have had that experience, when we have just known that God was there, working, speaking, nudging, equipping, moving us on – though we may not always have noticed it at the time. Saying here I am, what are you going to do?
This is the truth we can stand on – the truth of our experience of God in our lives. It might not have been a flashy experience like the transfiguration, but it will have been just as real, just as much God’s presence with us, giving us the strength we need to follow him, to speak his word, to know him in our lives.
Thank you Lord
for the times when I have known
for the confidence that gives,
to rely on you,
to speak of you,
to work for you.
As I hear your voice,
may I be equipped
for all that you ask of me,
all that you take me to,
and to share that truth