Truth or Myths (2 Peter 1:16-21)

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory,” (2 Peter 1:16–17, AV)

As a young boy, my grandmother shared a lot of things with me. I am not certain if she truly believed these things to be true of not. However, because she said them, I believed they were. One of the things they would say when we went swimming was that we could not go back into the water for at least an hour after eating for to do so would result in cramps. In hindsight, I think that this was a fable passed on from generation to generation and probably started to give grandparents a break from watching the kids in the water.

Another interesting fable was that if you touched a cactus, the spines would stick in your skin and not come out until there was a thunderstorm. Likewise, if you touched a toad, you would get warts. I could go on, but I will not. The point is that there are hundreds of fables and philosophies that somehow get started that have little if any basis in fact.

In biblical times there were also fables that many would take as fact. Many revolved around creation, the universe, the shape of the earth, etc. Many philosophies abounded to explain heaven, hell, eternal life, angels, and the work of Jesus. People were inundated with teachers who were going around and presenting teachings that contradicted the gospel. These teachers did so to gather a following and mostly for personal gain of some sort.

To combat these heretics and their teachings, Peter presents the facts. His eye witness account of Jesus affirmed the gospel. He had specifically taught the audience of Christ’s majesty, His death, burial, resurrection, ascension and His glorious return. The false teachers brought crafted myths that undermined the truth. Here, Peter explained that he and others personally saw something that was undeniable. He wrote of his experience with John and James on the mount of transfiguration. In this experience, he saw Jesus in glorified form, along with Moses and Elijah. He heard the voice of the Father saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Peter saw a genuine picture of the future, Jesus glorified. Moses represented those believers who died and would reign with Christ at His return. Elijah represented those who would believe not having died and reign with Christ at his return. Peter’s point here is that he had seen that which will come as an eyewitness. It was no fable. The false teachers had their philosophies, their myths, their carefully crafted stories, but they were not eyewitnesses.

Today, religious myths and philosophies abound. I have had more than one person tell me about their concept of eternity and how a person can enter heaven. The problem is that their concepts are not based upon the truth of God’s word. The Scriptures are God breathed and verify themselves through fulfilled prophecy and authenticated by credible eyewitnesses who were willing to die for what they witnessed. This was because it, the message of God, is truth. These men knew it and could never deny it.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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