2 Peter 1:5
Many of the writers of the NT had their dying wishes and blessings to their readers. Jesus has his last words before he goes to the cross. Philippians and Timothy can be seen as Paul’s final words before his perceived upcoming death. And as I’m reading 2 Peter, I’m seeing that perhaps these are Peter’s final words as well.
He writes in 1:13 “I think it right to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon…” Later from tradition, we learn that Peter would be crucified as well, only done upside down, as a deep act of respect for his crucified yet risen Lord.
What is it that Peter is leaving with his hearers?
He is leaving with them everything in 1:3-11, which, as I quoted above, has to do with supplementing their faith. He finds it so important for his readers to grow that he says if they are increasing, “they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus” (1:8). Conversely, those who are not growing are “so nearsighted, that they are blind” (1:9).
Growing as believers is so important. The main way you can recognize a tree that is healthy is that it is generally growing. If it’s not bearing fruit, not growing in size, then something is wrong with it. Though it may have seasons of drought or temporary death, it is nonetheless growing.
Christians are called to grow constantly. We are to grow in our faith, in our relationship with God, in the knowledge of God’s word, in love for others, in deepness of faith, and in being harvesters for his kingdom. We need to make it our aim to continually grow as believers so that we can be fruitful with the knowledge we have of Jesus.
For Peter, growing and stretching ourselves was a matter of life and death. I pray that it will be in my life as well.