Introduction: Two weeks ago we discussed why we can have confidence
that Jesus is God. This week Peter returns to this topic. Why? Does
it seem odd to you that Peter should spend so much time proving his
belief in Jesus? It might seem odd thousands of years later, but at
the time, this was the key to conversion – making the case that
Jesus, a man who lived on earth and who was crucified by the
authorities, was also fully God. It still is the central issue in
bringing nonbelievers to faith. Let’s explore Peter’s arguments to
bolster our faith today and learn how we can best share Jesus!

  1. The Voice

    1. Read 2 Peter 1:16. Recall our discussion of the Da Vinci
      Code? We discussed whether the gospels were “invented”
      stories about the divinity of Jesus. We also learned that
      Peter was a strong proponent of the divinity of Jesus.
      Thus, we might ask the same thing about Peter, did he
      invent these stories? What does Peter write about invented
      stories about Jesus? (He denies that he was misled by
      clever stories. Clearly, Peter admits this is an issue,
      but he thinks that people will believe that he was misled,
      not that he is misleading others.)

      1. What does that say about Peter’s state of mind about
        misleading others? (It has not crossed his mind that
        people would think that he is making this up.
        Apparently, no one suggested that to him.)

      2. How does Peter refute the idea that he was misled by
        clever stories? (He says he did not get this
        information second-hand. No, he was an eye-witness to
        the majesty of Jesus.)

    2. Read 2 Peter 1:17 and Matthew 17:4-5. Who does Peter say
      endorsed the divinity of Jesus? (God the Father. Peter
      heard it!)

      1. Notice the timing in Matthew 17:5. God interrupted
        Peter when He called Jesus His Son. Peter remembers
        the interruption!

      2. Let’s read the context. Read Matthew 17:1-6. If you
        were Peter, and were arguing for the divinity of
        Jesus, would you simply say, I heard “this voice …
        from heaven?” (No! I would tell the entire amazing
        story. It would promote Jesus and it would promote

        1. What do we learn from the fact that Peter
          refrains from telling this entire story?
          (Clearly, Peter is not exaggerating or
          overstating the proof for Jesus.)

    3. Read 2 Peter 1:18. Does Peter have others who will
      corroborate his story? (He says “We ourselves heard this
      voice.” We learned from Matthew 17 that James and John
      were also there.)

    4. Assume you were a lawyer organizing Peter’s proof. What
      would you say are the important points of proof? (Peter
      both heard and saw Jesus’ majesty. He heard the voice of
      God claiming Jesus was His Son. God endorsed what Jesus
      was doing. Peter has corroborating witnesses. The way
      Peter relays the story seems truthful truth. He refrains
      from exaggerating and stating details that would bolster
      his own reputation.)

  2. The Prophecy.

    1. Read 2 Peter 1:19. What other proof does Peter assert for
      the divinity of Jesus? (The prophets of the Old

    2. Let’s look at some of these. Read Psalms 22:1 and Psalms
      22:16-18. Does this sound familiar to you? (Read Matthew
      27:37-46 and Luke 24:36-39. It was typical that the person
      crucified was nailed to the cross through the hands and
      feet. Jesus told His followers to look at His hands and
      feet because they showed his crucifixion scars.)

    3. Read Zechariah 12:10, Isaiah 53:5, and Isaiah 53:10. How
      do these forecast what happened to Jesus at the cross?
      (I’ve recited just a few of the prophecies that point to
      the life of Jesus.)

    4. Look again at 2 Peter 1:19, but this time let’s focus on
      the second part of the text. What analogy does Peter make
      to our understanding of how the prophecies forecast the
      life of Jesus? (He compares it to sunrise.)

      1. How is that an apt comparison? (As people studied the
        prophecies, and compared them with the recorded
        events of Jesus’ life, their understanding kept
        growing and growing. Finally, they could “see” how
        Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies and how
        He fulfilled the Old Testament sacrificial system.)

    5. Read 2 Peter 1:20-21. Peter is engaged in an argument
      about Jesus being the Messiah. What argument is he
      countering here? (The idea that the Old Testament
      prophecies were simply the ideas of humans. Peter tells us
      that the Holy Spirit placed these prophecies in the minds
      of the prophets.)

      1. Why is this point important? (It shows that the
        coming of Jesus was a divine plan. Hundreds of years
        before Jesus came to earth as a human, God inspired
        prophets to write about Jesus’ coming and His death.)

      2. Notice the means by which the Old Testament
        prophecies were written. Does this indicate that the
        Holy Spirit dictated the words of the prophecies?
        (Peter writes about the “will of men.” He seems to
        tell us that the Holy Spirit operated on the
        prophet’s “will.” They then wrote (“spoke”) as the
        Holy Spirit “carried along” their will.)

    6. Read 2 Timothy 3:14-15. This is Paul writing to Timothy (2
      Timothy 1:1-2). On what basis does Paul say that Timothy
      should continue in the faith? (The credibility of those
      who have taught him, the gospel decisions he has made, and
      what he reads in the Bible.)

      1. Do you see the similarities in the arguments for
        belief in Jesus made by both Peter and Paul?

    7. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. “God-breathed” is a very unusual
      term. What do you think it means? (Barnes’ Notes
      translates the idea as “breathing upon, or breathing into
      the soul.”)

      1. Read Genesis 2:7. Does this help you to better
        understand the expression that the Scripture is “God-breathed?” (It does for me. God animated Adam with
        His breath. He became alive with God’s breath. The
        Scripture is animated with the Spirit of God. I don’t
        think that God dictated the Bible and the writers
        simply wrote down what God said. Rather, I think the
        writers of the Bible were inspired by the Holy
        Spirit. The thoughts of God came alive as He breathed
        through the writers the text of the Scripture.)

      2. Now, let’s circle back to 2 Peter 1:21 and re-read
        it. How does this confirm Peter’s argument that
        prophecy is a reason to believe that Jesus is God?
        (Those prophecies originated in the power of God.
        Just as God gave Adam life, so God gives life to the
        prophecies pointing to Jesus.)

    8. Friend, are you convinced about Jesus? Do you believe that
      He was sent from God, became a man, lived and died to take
      away our sins, and now has returned to His Father in
      heaven to be Ruler over all?

  3. Next week: False Teachers.