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He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:16 (NIV).
Listening to the news this year, it’s been hard to know who to believe. There’s a deadly virus on the loose that’s going to infect us all; no, the virus isn’t as serious as they’re hyping it up to be. Biden won; no, Trump won. We’re on the edge of a meltdown; no, things are just fine. It’s safe to come out of lockdown; no, it’s getting worse than it was before.
Who do you believe?
In verse 16, Peter recounts how unscrupulous people tried to twist the words of Peter’s friend, the Apostle Paul. Peter had encountered Paul several times and found him to be a passionate, erudite evangelist for Christ. Indeed, during one visit, Paul had rebuked Peter, and it made the men respect each other even more.
That’s a pretty amazing thing, considering that both men lived in an Israel that was occupied by a hostile foreign army. That they were outspoken leaders of a religious sect whose values ran contrary to established norms (both Jewish and Roman). That most of the rest of the world was hostile to this new “Way” and wanted to see it suppressed.
Those Christians are troublemakers; no, there’s something about them that I like. It’s impossible for a man to come back from death; but I saw Jesus alive. That new religion has quickly grown all over the known world; no, there really isn’t much to it.
If you’re John Q. Public in first century Judea, who do you believe? If you’re John Q. Public in 2020, the same question applies. When you don’t know who to go to for the truth, who do you believe, especially when clever people seem to distort and twist what’s being said? Believe it or not, you already know the answer.
Believe the one who’s preaching the truth about Jesus. That Jesus is God and we aren’t. That Jesus is the only way to heaven. That Jesus is both love and supreme justice. That Jesus calls us to confess our sins, repent of them, and allow Him to remake our lives for His Kingdom’s good.
In Judea, you would have believed Paul or Peter. They and their friends had personally experienced this Jesus. In our world today, believe them still because truth is still truth whether it’s two thousand years old or freshly spoken just now. There aren’t versions of truth: there is only truth. In a time when it’s hard to know who to believe, Christ Jesus is the best and only constant. Listen to what’s said about Him.
For further reading: Psalm 56:5, Jeremiah 23:36, James 1:8, 2 Peter 3:17
Lord Jesus, You are the center of the universe, the only truth, and the One in whom I believe.
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