2 Peter 3:8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
Reading the New Testament it’s apparent that people living in that time expected Jesus to come very soon. Jesus himself said the followig in the gospel of Matthew:
28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” (Matthew 16:28)
The apostle Peter, who wrote the letter “2 Peter”, was one of Jesus original 12 disciples and would likely have heard these words with his own ears. It seems he’s trying to explain why things haven’t unfolded the way he and others expected. “The Lord is not slow about his promise…”. I seriously doubt Peter, or anyone else, could have imagined we would still be waiting for Jesus’ return 2,000+ years after his death.
As I’ve mentioned in this space, I’ve developed great affection for Peter as I’ve studied the bible, because he comes across as so human. So ordinary. And in today’s passage he’s doing his best to explain what may be unexplainable. He’s giving it his best shot, and he may be absolutely right. It may be taking so long for Jesus to return because the Lord wants to give everyone as much opportunity as possible to receive him as Lord and Savior.
But then, there may be some other reason. We just don’t know.
I have questions about many things, don’t you? Why has it taken so long for Jesus to return? Do we correctly understand that ONLY those who are in Christ will be saved on judgment day – or will others be included? Why do we see so few miracles and supernatural manifestations now compared with biblical times? I could go on and on. As a pastor, people ask me these kinds of questions all the time. And, in many cases, my honest answer is “I don’t know”.
Lord Jesus, it’s hard for mere mortals like us to make sense of many things. It can be frustrating. Like Peter, I find myself trying to explain what may be unexplainable – but not doing it nearly as well as Peter did. Give us grace to make peace with the many things we don’t understand. Let it be enough that we’ve come to know you as the Son of God, our Lord and Savior, who died and rose again to defeat sin and death forever. Amen.