|Remembering where you came from – 2 Peter 1|
“Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
(2 Peter 1:1-4 NLT)
I like Peter. Peter, to me, is one of the more relatable guys in the scriptures. He is known to have spoken up, when he should have been listening (when Jesus told him that he would deny Jesus), looking at the storm instead of keeping his eyes on Jesus (when Peter walked on water), and he fell asleep when he should have been praying (in the Garden of Gethsemane and in Acts when the angel comes to free him from prison).
I find Peter to be so relatable because like me he had great intentions and wanted to do good as he followed Jesus, but he just messed up so much! It is encouraging to know that despite all of Peter’s mess ups Jesus still gave him the responsibility to strengthen his brothers after he stumbled and denied Jesus three times.
When Peter writes the letter now known as 2 Peter, the Apostle is much older and wiser and has spent his life honoring what Jesus had called him to do. As Peter writes this final letter, I find it interesting that he identifies himself as Simon Peter. In 1 Peter, he identified himself as Peter, so why would he now call himself Simon Peter? Simon literally means “shifting sand.” When he calls himself Simon Peter, this is a reminder of the time in life when Peter was unstable, flaky, and unpredictable, like “shifting sand.” While Simon was the name he was given at birth, Jesus said that Simon would become Peter, the rock.
This verse reveals that Peter never forgot who he was and what he still would be if Jesus had not saved him. Peter still remembers who he was before he knew God. What a mess he was as “shifting sand” uncertain, unreliable, and flaky. I know who I could have been, but because of Jesus I know who I am now.
We need to remember from where Jesus brought us. We need to always be moved because we know from where Jesus saved us. Peter remembered how good God is to have saved us for what we once were. If you remember the sin that God delivered you from, you remember how brutal and ugly things were before you met Jesus.
Back in Moses’ day, Israel was delivered from Egypt and had been freed from slavery under Pharaoh. They mad a terrible mistake and they started to murmur and grumble shortly after God had delivered them. It is easy for God’s people to forget the slavery that God had delivered us from. Peter never forgot where he came from. Peter never forgot where he could have been. It is good for Christians to be reminded of the reality of what life was like before Jesus saved us. It is too easy for us forget the emptiness we experienced. It is easy to minimize the loneliness, the hurts, and the hopelessness we had before Jesus saved us. It is easy to get into the habit of murmuring about our problems like Israel did, when instead we should be marveling about His presence.
Peter teaches me that while it is important to know who we are in Christ, it is also important to recognize who we were without Him, from where we have come, and what we could have become..
Lord, give me a glimpse of what I was and would have been without You in my life. I am humbled to remember from where You have brought me, and I am blessed and honored to know that where You are taking me ahead is greater still. In Jesus’ precious name… Amen.