2 Peter 1:16-18
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…
The Divine Saviour was the theme of apostolic preaching. They, whom he himself commissioned for the purpose, published the tidings of their Lord's first advent as the object of human faith, and of his second and future advent as the object of human hope. Thus the "power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ" was the great thought that inspired the apostles' minds, and animated them in their labours. And it was most natural and wise that, for their own sake and. for the sake of their hearers and readers, they should ever keep before their hearts, and should often mention in their discourse, those great facts concerning the Master upon which their new life and their new work were based. This accounts for the reference in this passage to the marvelous scene of Christ's Transfiguration.
I. THE WITNESS OF THE FATHER TO THE SON. On three occasions during our Lord's earthly ministry was the silence of heaven broken, and audible testimony borne by the Eternal to the "Son of his love." Of these occasions the Transfiguration was the most glorious and impressive. It was more than a majestic scene; it was an appeal to human intelligence and devoutness.
1. There was a voice from heaven. God chose an avenue which he himself had designed and fashioned, in order to reach the minds and hearts of men.
2. Expressed by this voice was the Father's personal relationship of affection towards Jesus. In his humiliation our Lord was acknowledged as the "beloved Son."
3. Witness was also borne to the complacency with which the Father regarded the Son, as fulfilling his will in the ministry and mediation he had undertaken.
4. The Transfiguration was justly regarded by the apostles as a bestowal upon their Lord of "honour and glory." Not that to them the outward splendor was everything; doubtless it was the symbol of a spiritual glory.
II. THE WITNESS OF THE DISCIPLES TO THEIR MASTER. This was a matter of fact, and is to us matter of history. Place and time are duly specified.
1. The disciples, who were serious and credible men, declared themselves to be eye-witnesses of Christ's majesty.
2. And ear-witnesses of the Divine attestation borne to him.
3. They expressly asserted that in this matter they were neither deceivers nor deceived. And, indeed, the case of their being either the one or the other is utterly incredible, is scarcely to be constructed by the imagination. They were not following cunningly devised fables; neither did they invent the incidents, nor did they adopt the inventions of others. In accepting the gospel narrative we build upon a sure foundation of fact.
III. THE PRACTICAL INFERENCE TO BE DRAWN BY THOSE WHO RECEIVE THIS TWO-FOLD WITNESS. Human nature is such that it is not possible for us to believe such facts as those which St. Peter here records, and not be affected by such belief in our spirit and our conduct.
1. As regards Jesus himself, whosoever receives the gospel is constrained to confess his power, presence, and coming.
2. As regards himself, he is bound to trust, love, honour, and serve the Saviour and Lord, who is thus made known to his spiritual nature by the revelation of the eternal Father, and by the testimony of his believing and devoted followers and apostles. - J.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
WEB: For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.