Biblical Last Words: Peter Glorifies

Biblical Last Words: Peter Glorifies

Biblical Last Words: Peter Glorifies.

“It is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life… You must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to Him, both now and forever! Amen.”  (2 Peter 1:13-14 and 3:18).

Saint Peter, the spokesman for the Twelve, the chief of the Apostles, a member of Jesus’ inner circle, the pillar of the early church. Jesus called Simon the Rock, Peter, (Matt. 16:18 and John 1:42), and the name was fully realized as Peter was indeed the stabilizing leader and spokesman of the infant Christian fellowship. Peter’s main claim to fame early on as a disciple was his inspired confession of Jesus as “Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” (Matt. 16:16). That confession of Peter’s was music to His ears, and summarized perfectly the foundational belief of the expanding Christian community. Nobody could have put it any better. Peter’s natural impulsive bluster was soon transformed by the Holy Spirit into courageous and insightful leadership of Christ’s church. Peter may have been the rock of the church, but Peter himself will tell anyone that Jesus is the Rock. Peter was not self-deceived about who the true foundation was, naming Jesus the cornerstone, the living stone chosen by God. (1 Peter 2:4-6).

So after a lifetime of faithful service to Jesus the Messiah, Peter finds himself imprisoned in Rome. He has been told by the Lord that he will face death soon. Peter wrote this, his second and last letter, knowing of his impending martyrdom. He decides to write what is most on his heart. “I know that I’m to die soon, the Master has made that quite clear to me. And so I am especially eager that you have all this down in black and white so that after I die, you’ll have it for ready reference.” (2 Peter 1:14-15, Message).

Peter’s thoughts in 2 Peter reflect his dominant concerns for Christian believers: growing and knowing, growth and knowledge. Peter focused on the need to keep growing in godliness, in moral excellence, in spiritual understanding. He consistently underlines the fact that the spiritual life is a process, that it is vital that a believer matures and grows deeper and wider. So Peter advises to stay in the truth and increase in knowledge of the Faith. Don’t listen to all these false teachers that seem to be everywhere. Continue to deepen your relationship with the living God. Peter had spiritual knowledge in mind when he started this last letter, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living the godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the One who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.” (1:2-3). 

Because there was so much false teaching circulating in the church about the Lord’s second coming, Peter addresses this topic to set the record straight. Peter has much to say about the sure coming of the Day of the Lord, and that we should look forward to “the new heavens and the new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (3:13).

And so at the end of his final letter, just before he was martyred, what were Peter’s final thoughts? Once again… growth and knowledge. Grow in God’s favor and grace, grow in knowledge of Jesus. And finally, he utters words that are timeless, that all the angels in heaven sing eternally. To God alone belongs all glory, honor, majesty and splendor. Yes, Peter’s final words were exclamations of adoration and praise.

Jesus’ first words to Peter were identical to His last words to Peter, “Follow Me.” (Mark 1:17 and John 21:22). Peter’s final words leave no doubt that he stayed true to Christ’s calling right to the end of his life.