30 Days in the Bible, Day 3: 2 Peter 1:16-21
There are so many theologies and philosophies around today that it can be overwhelming. I think one of the chief motivations behind people who hold to some kind of relativism is the desire to avoid thinking about and evaluating the truth claims of all those systems. If we pretend that they all are somehow equal, maybe even the same deep down, we don’t have to examine them and decide which are true and which are false.
This can’t be held for long, however. There are contradictory claims made by different thinkers, and these contradictions can’t just be swept under the rug. For example, Christians believe that Jesus is God, while Jews and Muslims do not, and atheists don’t believe that there is any God. All of those groups cannot be correct, no matter how much wishful thinking we engage in.
Peter is emphatic here in today’s passage that the followers of Jesus have a solid foundation of truth for their faith. There are two solid foundations for the beliefs we hold. The first is that Jesus’ life was seen by many eyewitnesses. Some of those witnesses wrote about Him themselves, while others received their information directly from eyewitnesses. Unlike the myths about gods in human form in Greek or Roman mythology, those who were alive at the time of Jesus saw Him as He lived, taught, and performed miracles, and the stories about Jesus were told by those who saw Him.
The second solid foundation is the Word that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. The authority of the Bible does not rest on the wisdom and genus of human authors, but on the God who inspired them to write. We aren’t reading the opinions of people, but the revelation of God. I enjoy reading early Christian writings, and I admire the wisdom and thoughtfulness of many authors from the first centuries of the church. However, I don’t mistake their wisdom for God’s Word. They themselves used the Scriptures to make their points, and relied on the power of the Word rather than their own minds to teach the truth.
If we want to know the truth, we need a reliable source. As we read the inspired Word of God, and we see what those who saw Jesus have to say about Him, we can have confidence that He is the Way to the Father, and that He is the Wisdom we need for our lives today.