2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive opinions. They will even deny the Master (Jesus) who bought them (with his own blood) —bringing swift destruction on themselves…4 For if God did not spare the angels when they sinned… 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment…
As was the case with the apostle Paul in his mission to Gentiles, Peter was often harrassed by religious authorities in Jerusalem. He was accused of misleading the people with his “new” teaching that Jesus of Nazareth was the son of God and the Messiah that Israel had longed for. Peter makes it clear in this passage that religious authorities who turned people away from the truth would be judged. Severely.
Peter’s opponents appear to have gotten on his last nerve.
When we read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) we learn a bit about the temperament of Jesus’ disciples, including Peter. Peter was a bit impulsive and definitely outspoken. When Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, Peter whipped out his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. He was an “act now, think later” sort of person. I can imagine Peter going on a rant with a red face giving his opponents a piece of his mind, before calming down enough to write. 🙂
I admit, when I read passages like this, it endears Peter to me. You know why? Peter was not a robot. He was human, like you and me. Like you and me he got frustrated, angry, even jealous from time to time. And I’m sure he was deeply disappointed, even sad, when people rejected his message, because it meant they had rejected Jesus. Yet, despite his disappointments and frustrations, he never gave up. By the grace of God, he continued his work until the day he died.
I get frustrated sometimes, don’t you? I am the sort that likes to try new things, but in doing so there are many times things don’t work out. I try and fail. Regularly. When you’re an innovator by nature, as I am, this is how it goes – and I know this. But it’s still disappointing. Failure never gets easy, even if it is the price of innovation and progress.
I’m guessing there are some of you reading this who are in a time of frustration and perhaps disappointment. The critics are loud, opposition is formidable, and progress seems minimal at best. You may be thinking of throwing in the towel, and who could blame you?
But don’t. Don’t quit.
Lord Jesus, give us grace to persevere in the face of opposition and disappointment. Be our strength when we are weak. Amen.