Commented Bible Passages

These Bible meditations are meant as a way of seeking God in silence and prayer in the midst of our daily life. During the course of a day, take a moment to read the Bible passage with the short commentary and to reflect on the questions which follow. Afterwards, a small group of 3 to 10 people can meet to share what they have discovered and perhaps for a time of prayer.

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2022

May

2 Peter 1:16-21: The Way of Trust
We did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He 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. So have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:16-21)

Peter, a disciple of Jesus, saw for a moment the glory of Jesus, together with two of his companions. They heard the voice of God in the brightness of his radiance. This is an event that the gospels also tell us about, "the transfiguration of Christ". (Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36; Matthew 17:1-13). As with other biblical accounts, the event is confirmed by the multiplicity of witnesses; far from any fiction, the experience of God that the disciples tell us about happens in history, in their actual lives.

Probably we would all like to have a direct experience of God, because feelings and experiences are a necessary dimension of our life. They are opportunities for us to rejoice. “As for us, we cannot give up speaking about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Just as for the disciples, experiences taken seriously become a call to live in a certain way.

These same disciples can become witnesses for us today, because their experience of Jesus is human, entering through their eyes and ears. Peter writes: “we were eyewitnesses (...) we ourselves heard this voice” (v. 18).

To learn anything, we need to trust in the experience of others. So Peter invites us to trust in his experience, without claiming that it is unquestionable. By listening to him, we can come to know Jesus, and we learn that God sets his joy in him (v. 17). Joy is an experience we are familiar with; we may have heard and seen it, or at least wished for it. For his part, Jesus, who receives this joy from God, promised his friends: “Your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22). Joy becomes a road forward, an orientation, or even a confirmation of the experience we can have of God.

Peter also testifies to the trustworthiness of the words of the prophets. Believing in someone’s words may seem naive, but this is a basic human experience, because no one can force us to trust. Freedom is the condition for true trust, and in this way relationships are born and grow.

Nowadays, we are constantly concerned about the solidity of information. Information travels fast. Fake news abounds. Trust is betrayed, and anxiety, indifference, and everything that opposes joy appears. Living by the inspiration of the faith of Jesus can become a fact needing to be justified, or constantly rectified, and then joy is already receding from the horizon.

Peter warns us that no one can interpret a prophecy on their own (v. 21), that all revelation comes from God through his Spirit. The Spirit, who can make prophets of us all (cf. Joel 3:1), becomes for us the guarantee of this joy, even in the midst of mistrust and sadness. An invitation follows from this biblical text: to trust in others, and in the action of the Spirit who makes us able to share in God’s joy (cf. Luke 10:21; Galatians 5:22).

- What joys have I experienced in the last few days? What can I learn from these experiences?

- What does it mean for me to have a personal relationship with God?

- In order to dare to set out on the road of trusting, what initiatives could I take in my daily life?



Other bible meditations:

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