Better than witnessing the Transfiguration

Yesterday was the climax of the Epiphany season, Transfiguration Sunday, marking the most explicit epiphany of Jesus during His time on earth.  St. Peter saw witnessed it personally, as he describes in His second epistle.  But he goes on to say that we have something even better, even more certain, than witnessing the Transfiguration.

2 Peter 1:16-21:

We were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son,[i] with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

via 2 Peter 1 ESV – Greeting – Simeon Peter, a servant and – Bible Gateway.

The Word of God is “more fully confirmed” than being an eyewitness!  Scripture is not just something to interpret–as it is often reduced to–but the work of the Holy Spirit, who creates faith in the hearts of those who read or hear it.   Many saw Jesus and witnessed His miracles, but few believed.  But after His resurrection, His Word was unleashed.  Thus, the Word of God is better and more certain than experiences, visions, ideas, and feelings.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    That’s right. “Listen to Him!”

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Yes, this is a interesting passage. Even though Peter and his cohorts had an incredible mountain-top experience, he says written scripture is “more fully confirmed.”

    “We walk by faith, not by sight,” as the Apostle wrote. Yet, many who call themselves Christians make a religious career out out of chasing after the subjective “experience of the presence of the Holy Spirit.” They need to “see” the signs and wonders, the visions, the extra-Biblical mutterings of “prophecy,” etc. or they think God is not there. I think another word for this is “faithlessness.”

    Insisting on experience is the exact opposite of walking by faith in the prophetic Word of God recorded for us by mere men who were carried along by the Holy Spirit.


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