2 Peter 1:16-18
Cleverly Devised Myths
The ancient world was filled with myths—Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, indeed, every nation and tribe that has peopled the earth has made up stories to explain the world around them. But the myths especially related stories about the gods and how to get on their good side. Even pagans knew that the gods had to be appeased and that committing deeds of which they did not approve had to be expiated—generally by sacrifice, even human. The gods they served were both capricious and demanding, which made serving then practically impossible. All of this simply affirms that man was made in God’s image, fell, and has since then been groping in the dark for God (Acts 17:27), but for their sinful natures could never find him (Romans 1:18-32). So, the gods they worshiped were what they made with their hands; but, oh, so very real, for behind every false god is a very real demon.
Well, Peter reminds the brethren that the apostles did not preach to them “cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The “power” might suggest the miracles which confirmed the word preached to them or perhaps the Holy Spirit birthing them anew into the Kingdom. But whatever the case, Peter further commends the reality of the gospel accounts by relating the event of our Lord’s transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8; Mark 9:2-8; Luke 9:28-36). Peter wants them to know that he was there on the holy mountain with the Lord. He both saw the Lord glowing like the sun and heard the voice from the “Majestic Glory” pronounce, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” The Apostle is clear: All you have heard about our Lord—his life, his miracles, his teachings, his death, resurrection, and ascension—all of this is no manmade invention; this is the true God whom men have sought through wayward minds and the One whom even the pagan myths foreshadowed in their own twisted way. Men have always wanted to know who God is. Well God came down in human flesh and gave himself for our salvation. He is God’s Son, and his name is Jesus Christ.
The Apostle John began his First Epistle establishing the same point: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life” (1:1). The Christian faith is no man’s dream, no man’s creation, no man’s discovery. It is the revelation of God about His Son Jesus Christ come in the fullness of time and is the fulfillment of every heart.