4 Nov. 2 Peter 1:1-19

4 Nov. Peter encourages 'brotherly love' in his Second Letter

"From Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.
To you who have received a faith as valuable as ours, because our God and Saviour Jesus Christ does what is right.
Grace and peace be given to you more and more, because you truly know God and Jesus our Lord."

"Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and serve God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus called us by his glory and goodness. Through these he gave us the very great and precious promises. With these gifts you can share in being like God, and the world will not ruin you with its evil desires."

"Because you have these blessings, do your best to add these things to your lives:
to your faith, add goodness;
and to your goodness, add knowledge [of Jesus];
and to your knowledge, add self-control;
and to your self-control, add patience;
and to your patience, add service to God;
and to your service for God. add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ;
and to this kindness, add love."

"If all these things are in you and are growing, they will help you to be useful and productive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But anyone who does not have these things cannot see clearly. He is blind and has forgotten that he was made clean from his past sins..."

"You know these things, and you are very strong in the truth, but I will always help you remember them... I know I must soon leave this body, as our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me. I will try my best so that you may be able to remember these things even after I am gone."

"When we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, we were not telling just clever stories that someone invented. But we saw the greatness of Jesus with our own eyes."

"Jesus heard the voice of God, the Greatest Glory, when he received honour and glory from God the Father. The voice said, 'This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him.' We heard that voice from heaven while we were with Jesus on the holy mountain."

"This makes us more sure about the message the prophets gave. It is good for you to follow closely what they said as you would follow a light shining in a dark place, until the day begins and the morning star rises in your hearts."

          (2 Peter 1:1-19)

 

 

The Second Letter of Peter was written by Simon Peter, imprisoned in Rome and under threat of death (see 2 Peter 1:13-15), to the Jewish Christians seeking refuge from persecution in Asia Minor. It was written shortly after his First Letter in 66 or 67AD, to which he refers (see 2 Peter 3:1).

The style of the second letter is, however, very different from the first. While the previous letter was written in fluent idiomatic Greek with assistance from Silas (see 1 Peter 5:12), this second letter is written from a prison cell in Peter’s own ‘rough and ready’ Greek.

Peter had picked up a working knowledge of Greek over the years on his travels through numerous Greek-speaking Roman cities in the eastern Mediterranean – cities such as Sebaste in Samaria (see Acts 8:14-24), Caesarea in Palestine (see Acts 10:24-48) and Antioch in Syria (see Galatians 2:11-14).

It isn’t known who carried the letter from Rome to the believers in Asia Minor, but it could well have been John Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (and the author of Mark’s Gospel – see Acts 12:12, 25, 13:5,13). Mark sent his greetings from Rome in Peter’s first letter, but, significantly, he isn’t mentioned in the second letter.

Mark had lodged with Paul, under house arrest in Rome, in 60-62AD (see Colossians 4:10 & Philemon 1:24) and probably wrote the Gospel of Mark at that time. He probably travelled with Paul to Ephesus in 63 or 64AD (see 1 Timothy 1:3 and Map 28) before returning to Rome from Colossae in 66 or 67AD (see 2 Timothy 4:11 & Colossians 4:10). He might well have travelled back to Ephesus with this letter en route to Colossae, Laodicea and the other churches of Asia Minor.

The letter was written to encourage the believers in their faith and to combat false teachings that were leading to immorality. The letter looks forward to the second coming of Christ which some false teachers had claimed would not happen.

Peter begins his letter by sending greetings to the believers “who have received a faith as valuable as ours” (2 Peter 1:1). He rejoices that they share in God’s nature, so “the world will not ruin you with its evil desires” (2 Peter 1:4). He urges them to live godly lives, full of goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance and ‘brotherly love’ (the Greek word ‘philadelphia’).

He encourages the believers not to abandon their new faith, so they don’t give up the promise of eternal life in the “eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:11).

Peter reminds them of these things while he is still alive, as he is under threat of death, and “I know I must soon leave this body” (2 Peter 1:14).

Peter tells the believers that he isn’t inventing made-up stories. As an apostle, he himself witnessed, first-hand, the greatness of the Lord Jesus Christ. He reminds them he was actually there when Jesus was transfigured in glory and God said, “This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him” (2 Peter 1:17) (see Matthew 17:1-5).

Peter urges the believers to take the message proclaimed by the prophets seriously because they spoke under the control of the Holy Spirit. Their message will be “a light shining in a dark place” until the ‘Day of the Lord’ arrives and “the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19) (see Revelation 22:16).

The photo shows Laodicea - one of the cities whose Jewish Christian community probably received this letter from Peter.

You can read more from Peter's Second Letter @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/the-2nd-letter-of-peter-…/


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