2 Peter 1:16 “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
The Apostle Peter not only told the people to whom he wrote and preached how Jesus lived, died, and rose. He taught them Jesus was coming again, coming in power, coming as the almighty Son of God. Jesus was not like the mythological gods, an entertaining story from the distant past. The gospel isn’t a fantasy someone thought up while telling tales around the fire one night. Here was a God he had seen with his own eyes. This God promised to come again. Such a God truly has the power to help.
Peter knew this was true because he had been an eyewitness of Jesus’ majesty. He had seen just a glimpse of it at Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain. “For (Jesus) received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain” (2 Peter 1:17-18). Peter heard God’s voice with his own ears. He was not just making it up.
Do you see why it’s important that we still understand this today, that the story of Jesus wasn’t simply made up? We don’t follow Jesus just to learn to live a certain way. The main point of Christian faith isn’t discovering a certain set of principles by which to arrange our lives. If that were the case, it wouldn’t matter how real Jesus is. As long as we learned our lessons, as long as we got the moral of the story, it would not make a difference if Jesus were just a myth.
But the point of all the teaching we have received has been to introduce us to a living person. It gives us contact with a divine being. He cares for us with a real heart, claims us as friends, and involves himself in our lives with his actual presence and concern.
Sometimes, sitting in Bible class or worship, it may seem as though we are learning nothing but a set of religious facts. But each journey into God’s word intends to bring us closer to Christ. The goal doesn’t stop at knowing more information about him. Here is the opportunity to know him more personally and intimately. Here is how we grow closer to him as brother or sister, companion and friend.
He intends to make himself a living part of our lives. Centuries ago, he was a living and breathing man who took responsibility for our sins and gave his life for them. Today he is still the God-man who is here with us at every moment. Though we cannot see him, he personally speaks to us in sermons, classes, or on the written pages of the Bible.
Someday, we will see him with your own eyes. As the Son of God he is coming again with power. He comes to take us home. The Apostle Peter was not making this up, nor am I. Then we will see clearly how our story is intertwined with his, our real story, which never ends.