Questions to Consider
1. Briefly review lesson 9 (link above) and/or re-read verses 1-11 for context for today’s passage. Notice that the first word of verse 12 is “therefore”. What is the “therefore” there for?
2. Examine verses 12-15. What “qualities” (12) is Peter referring to? Contemplate the statement Peter makes in verse 12. Why do we, as Christians, need, so often, to be reminded of what we already know? Take a look at some of the many passages of Scripture that describe God’s people as a forgetful people. What are the dangers of being forgetful of biblical truth?
What does Peter mean by the phrases, “as long as I am in this body,” (13) “the putting off of my body will be soon,” (14) and “after my departure” (15)?
How many times, and where, do you see the words “remind” and “recall”? What methods did Peter use to remind his audience, then and now, of what he was teaching, to make sure they, and we, would be able to recall it? What does this tell you about the significance of the written Word of God and how important it is for pastors to preach the Word?
3. Study verses 16-21.
Which event during Jesus’ earthly ministry is Peter talking about in verses 16-18? (Use your cross-references, and read the entire gospel account of this event.) Who is “we” in verses 16 and 18? What did they see and hear with their own eyes and ears during this event? Put yourself in Peter’s sandals and try to imagine the weightiness of meeting two of the pillars of your current faith (Judaism), witnessing the glorified Christ, who is to be the pillar of your current/future faith, and entering into the earthly manifestation of the presence of God and hearing His voice. Let the profundity of this experience be the foundation of your understanding for what Peter is going to say about the written Word in 19-21.
What word does verse 16 start with? What does “for” refer back to? Review your answers to the final question of #2 and to question 3 from lesson 9 (link above), and view verses 16-21 through the lens and context of Peter’s emphasis on the written Word. What is Peter saying about personal experiences versus the written Word? Compare all three of these passages to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and explain how and why Scripture – not personal experiences, feelings, opinions, dreams and visions, “God told me,” etc. – is preferable to subjective experiences and sufficient for the Christian for “all things that pertain to life and godliness.”
Personal experiences, feelings, etc. come from __________, who are sinful and fallible, but Scripture comes from __________, who is perfect and holy.
Outline the major concepts in 16-21 that Peter is trying to get across about his (and the other apostles’) teaching:
Our teaching is not based on __________ (16a) but on our own __________ (16b, 18). And even weightier and more reliable than our own eyewitness testimony is the __________ (19a)- which does not come from __________ (20-21a), but from __________ (21b).
Compare the idea in verse 19 to these verses. Explain how Jesus is the living Word that gives light to us in a dark world. We will need to commune with Jesus through the written Word until what happens (19b)? Why will we not need to depend on the written Word when Christ returns?
How do these concepts about God’s written Word give you a greater confidence in, and love for Scripture?
Re-read verses 12-15. Peter knew he was not going to live much longer. How might that knowledge have helped him focus his energies on what was most important for his children in the faith to know? Imagine your doctor told you that you only had three months to live. Write a letter to your church, your children, or someone you’re discipling emphasizing the spiritual truths you think will be most important for them to remember “after your departure”. (I really mean this only as an exercise, not that you should necessarily deliver this letter to your church, children, or disciplee, but you may choose to deliver it using biblical wisdom and discretion.)
Suggested Memory Verse