12You are holding firmly to the truth you were given. But I am still going to remind you of these things. 13In fact, I think I should keep on reminding you until I leave this body. 14And our Lord Jesus Christ has already told me that I will soon leave it behind. 15This is why I am doing my best to make sure that each of you remembers all of this after I am gone.
The Message about the Glory
16When we told you about the power and the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not telling clever stories 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.” 18We were there with Jesus on the holy mountain and heard this voice speak from heaven.
19All 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. 20But you need to realize that no one alone can understand any of the prophecies in the Scriptures. 21The prophets did not think these things up on their own, but they were guided by the Spirit of God.
I can recall sitting in my high school Chemistry class and hearing the pleading voice of my teacher asking us as students to remember the basic principles of molecular Chemistry and to pay attention to the formulas that we had learned. And if I had done so with a little more diligence, I might have done better in the class.
Peter uses the word “remind” or “remember” three times in verses 12 to 15. Even though he knows they are “holding firmly to the truth” that they were given, he still feels it is vital that he tell them again. He no doubt knows (and fears) the normal human tendency to forget things that we once knew and understood. That forgetfulness leads to spiritual weakness and apathy. So he reminds them.
But what does he remind them about? Firstly, the truth is that Jesus Christ will return with power – this isn’t a fairy tale. Secondly, he personally experienced a marvellous revelation on the Mount of Transfiguration – he saw the greatness of Jesus and heard God’s voice saying “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him” (Matthew 17:5).
Credible, personal testimony is important because it counteracts the tendency to dismiss what happened in the past. Stand against that tendency, Peter argues; remember, pay close attention and keep on paying attention. It is in doing so that light shines in dark places not only in our own hearts but in the situations around us. And we can all do with more of that!
Today Oh Lord, I want to remember what I have learned about you. I commit myself again to paying attention to the words of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.