10 Mar

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In a very real sense, memory changes us. An emotionally painful memory tends to act as a hedge to keep us from behaving in such a manner that gave rise to that event in the past. Religious and family traditions, or collective memory, cause us to behave in a certain socially acceptable manner, especially while in the company of family and friends who hold to those traditions. And, we probably don’t wander far from those traditions even when we share the company of strangers. Memories of the past that helped make us what we are today jump into focus when they are triggered by something we experience in the present. Visiting old friends we hadn’t seen in years, for example, will trigger memories of people and events we hadn’t thought about in a long time. It isn’t as though we had forgotten our friends or the things we experienced together, but seeing them once again brings many memories of our relationships into focus. Peter points to something like this in his second epistle. He writes that he intends to be an impetus to keep his readers thinking of Jesus and their walk with him.

Peter’s emphasis on remembering (2Peter 1:12-13) does not imply the churches in Asia Minor had forgotten what they had been told. Rather, he claims they knew these things, so nothing was forgotten. Nevertheless, the Church is not immune to following wrong teaching, as Paul’s epistle to the Galatians proves to us. If we don’t adhere to the fundamentals of our faith, we can be led astray to believe falsehood. A believer who is always looking for something new, is ready prey for a false teacher.

Peter as much as says he isn’t going anywhere, i.e. he doesn’t intend to retire from his ministry. Rather, he claims it is fitting, as long as he is alive, to keep reminding believers of the things they ought to keep in mind. The things Peter wants the believers to focus upon are the promises he pointed to in 2Peter 1:4 that enable them to partake of divine nature, namely our inheritance (i.e. immortality – 1Peter 1:3-5, and the indwelling of God’s Spirit – Romans 8:11) and Jesus’ return (1Peter 1:7, 9 & 13). He also points to the promise of our entry into Christ’s Kingdom in 2Peter 1:11. What Peter intends to do by way of reminder (2Peter 1:13) is to give believers a written, permanent record of what they should keep in mind about Christ and their walk with him, because he was concerned about the timing of his approaching death (John 21:18-19).

Peter knew he would suddenly be taken away by an enemy and killed, and probably without warning, just as Jesus had showed him years earlier. Peter claimed the Lord had showed him how he would die. That is, he showed him it would occur when he was old, and it would come quite suddenly. If by using the Greek word signifying (G4591), Jesus showed Peter the manner of death he would glorify God, it isn’t readily clear in the text how that would be (John 21:18-19). However, the fourth Gospel uses the same Greek word (G4591) to show the manner in which Jesus was to die (cf. John 12:32-33; 18:31-32). So, it is possible that Peter even knew the method the enemy would use to kill him. However, concerning the famine that was predicted in Acts 11:28, the same Greek word is used there, and it was neither known when the famine would occur nor the circumstances under which it would arise. Therefore, we can know for certain only that Jesus told Peter he would be old, and he would be suddenly bound and taken, and his death would glorify God. Peter may or may not have known the method of his martyrdom for the name of Christ

Therefore, with this in mind, Peter says in 2Peter 1:15 that he will endeavor or make hast to give his brethren a written remembrance of the things they should know. While it is obvious that his two epistles would be a written remembrance of some things, Peter seems to put what he wishes to do in the near future. If this is a valid argument, then Peter’s epistles do not represent the written remembrance of which he wrote.  Rather, Peter may have reference to leaving them a written copy of his Gospel, which many scholars believe to be the Gospel of Mark.

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Posted by on March 10, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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