I often wonder why it is as we progress in this earthly process called aging that our memory seems to lose the ability to retain its contents. Is it because our brains do not grow once they reach a certain point of DNA inspired size? Is it because of the gradual reduction in overall cells due to man-caused and naturally induced reasons that yesterday sometimes seems like last year?
Whatever the reasons may be, the Apostle and noted Saint Peter recognized the problem. He likely recognized it in himself first and then noticed the tendency within the fellowship of the saints.
Priming the memory is one of the main reasons Peter wrote this second letter to the faithful Jews of the Diaspora. Peter knew that his time was short on the earth (1.14) and there were certain important things on his mind that he wanted to communicate to them.
He wants to remind them first (1.12-13) that he himself was an eyewitness of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this sense, he is no ordinary man. Nor is he demanding the attention of his readers without vindication. He has seen the Lord! He “heard the voice” of God the Father on the mount of Transfiguration affirming His Son in the most “glowing” of terms:”This is my beloved Son; I am fully pleased with him.” Why did he want to remind them of this particular incident in his discipled life? Because it authenticates him to them and gives them a superb reason to listen with even more attention. And this reality separates Peter from the false prophets and teachers of which he is about to warn them.
Undergirding Peter’s thinking is the majesty and veracity of the scriptures. Coming out of what the Lord Jesus did on that mountain and how the Father responded to Him, not only is our confidence in the Christ lifted to new levels, but we have an even greater reason to trust and heed the Prophets who spoke of Him long before the fullness of time.
So that’s it! The Prophets of the older testament point to the coming of the Messiah in some very specific ways. He fulfilled them. This is amazing enough. But what is even more amazing is that Peter wants his readers and we to see the Christ transfigured not merely on a mountain, but in our hearts.
In other words we can all take part in the Transfiguration, the purpose of which was to reveal the true Divine nature of Jesus which had been somewhat obscured by the veil of His flesh. The transfiguration vindicates the prophets and exhorts us “to pay close attention to what they wrote,” (1.19b). As we pay close attention, we begin to hear with our heart and see with our soul, that He is all that the Prophets ever claimed He would be.
At the end of the day, Peter strongly desires that we remember that the target of the Prophets words in Scripture was never a cold, dark, distant mountain in the middle east. The words of the scriptures were and are intended to bring the light of the reality of Jesus to the darkness, blackness and distance of each human heart where He shines! What seems to be the lesser reality is actually the greater. Let us not forget that fact.