Today was Transfiguration Sunday in the Revised Common Lectionary, and the gospel at worship service was read by yours truly. I memorized the ESV text of the reading last night, and was able to deliver it this morning in hammed-up, Shatner-esque mode. Despite one slip-up where I almost repeated a verse before I caught myself, I think I managed to pull it off.
But enough about me. More importantly, I want to draw attention to a section of today’s epistle reading from Second Peter, and the ESV text is especially striking:
For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts….
– Excerpt from 2 Peter 1 (emphasis mine)
Are you getting what Peter is stating here? For Peter, the prophetic word is something we have as more sure than his own eyewitness of the voice from heaven. Let that sink in for a bit: the Scripture itself is more certain than the voice from heaven. By the time of this writing, the Epistles of Paul were already known in the churches, and portions of the Gospels, though fragmented, were almost certainly in circulation, and were already regarded as Scripture, of divine origin. It’s this same Scripture that we read in our bibles, and Peter is telling us that this same Scripture holds as much, if not more, assurance for us of Christ’s Sonship than even the Loud, Booming Voice From a Glowing Heavenly Cloud.
I find that as mind-bogglingly amazing as the Epiphany itself.