Thousands deserted Jesus after being fully feed by Jesus with five loaves of bread and two fish. They hardened their hearts against outstanding evidence, but Peter reacted: “To whom shall we go? You speak the words of eternal life.” Peter witnessed many other miracles including healings, walking on water, stilling the storm, casting out demons and raising the dead. One time when Peter was with Jesus, James and John, he witnessed a transfiguration of Jesus. The appearance of Jesus altered before his eyes so that his face was shining like the sun and his clothes became dazzling white. He heard God’s voice from heaven:
“This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.” Years later Peter wrote about that revelation to remind Christians that they were not following myths or clever make believe stories. The transfiguration confirmed to Peter what he confessed about Jesus about a week earlier: “You are the Messiah of God.”
What difference does Peter’s testimony make if it really is true and if you believe? Peter wrote to Christians who confessed Jesus is the Messiah the Son of God; nevertheless, falsehoods tempted some to doubt. Therefore Peter affirmed that the prophetic words about Jesus are not myths or made up stories. Rather the word is reliable because it is based upon eyewitness testimony and is the Holy Spirit’s interpretation of the meaning of those historical events. This is reasonable because only the Holy Spirit knows the thoughts of God, just as only a person’s spirit knows his own inner thoughts. The Holy Spirit is God’s voice from heaven within the prophets and apostles through whom the Spirit imparted the word. Thus, the Holy Spirit reveals God’s thoughts and the meaning of his actions through his beloved Son Jesus.
Through Jesus a better story started in the world and life of that fisherman Peter. He could have remained a fisherman; but his story would be better because of his hope in Jesus. Happily we know Peter’s story because Jesus called him to be his apostle and eyewitness. Most people who believe in Jesus continue with their ordinary lives; but they their lives are extraordinarily better. Sadly not all Christians realize this better story for their lives, because they fail to realize the significance of their faith. More than anyone Peter knew the significance of trust in Jesus. Peter saw firsthand the lives of many people change for the better because of Jesus. Jew and Gentile, rich and poor, male and female, saint and sinner all changed for the better because of Jesus. They were healed, forgiven, delivered and given a new day and a better story to live for. Read the Gospel stories about Jesus and see how everyone who met Jesus and trusted in Jesus was touched by his life changing power and his words of eternal life. Jesus rebooted their lives with a new day to live for and a better story to tell.
How can people who believe Jesus was a great human being and prophet of God fully benefit from the purpose of his life and message? How can nominal Christians who grew up hearing about Jesus and confessing that he is the promised Son of God become certain of what they once hoped was true? How can Jews who are the bearers of the promises of God about a coming Messiah ascertain whether the claims about this Jewish teacher are genuine? After all, it is evident that Jesus succeeded in initiating a spiritual kingdom that is restoring honor and glory to God throughout the world.
Peter clearly answered how to be certain about Jesus. He wrote to pay attention to the prophetic word because it’s truth, not myth. He said to pay attention to it until the day dawns and morning star rises in your hearts. Ancients called the planet Venus the morning star because it appeared before twilight as the harbinger of a new day. Continual night or darkness is always bad; symbolizing the dominance of superstitions, myths, false beliefs, hate, injustice, disparity, oppression, crime, wars, destitution, squalor, and all kinds of sin and evil. Too many live their lives in darkness. Too many live the story of a nightmare because they are victims of evil doers. In wealthy countries many may be spared the nightmare, but they still live a dream that only lasts for the night of their life. Embracing evolutionary futility, they live without God and without life changing hope. Peter’s good news is that Jesus gives this hope; and the hope begins the new and great day of eternal life. Christ has transfigured lives all over the world and has transformed the paradigms of dark systems with paradigms that produce peace, justice and happiness. The darkness fights in the twilight to make people, their systems and cultures antagonistic to Christ and his people; but Jesus overcomes the world by filling it with honor for God.
Today antagonists of Christ try very hard to ignore and extinguish the light and hope that Christ has given to billions of people on earth. Regrettably they gain credibility with unbelievers because not every Christian person, home or church is a good and true example of the influence of Jesus. In spite of human deficiencies, errors and sins, the Bible stands as the record of the light of truth from Jesus. Wherever believers truly pay attention to the Bible’s prophetic word about Jesus, honest people everywhere will notice and be refreshed by the good works of those who serve their Lord Jesus. Therefore, Peter said to pay attention. Paying attention ensures that the morning star arises in the hearts of believers. Focused believers are convinced that a new day has dawned with Jesus, in spite of the darkness struggling to hold on. By faith believers embrace, imagine and live a better story for their own lives, helping to bring a great day for all. God gave the world this wonderful story of the kingdom of his Son and of the new age that is emerging through the teachings and reign of Jesus as the Messiah.
Copyright © April 8, 2011 by D. Bryan Buttram.
To read the Bible references please pass your pointer over these verses of scripture: John 6:60-71, Matthew 16:13-20, 17:1-13, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16 and 2 Peter 1:16-21. If you need but cannot afford a Bible, please contact us so we may give you a Bible.