Bob Dwyer loved college life. He had his own apartment near Northeastern Illinois University, where he pursued a degree in interdisciplinary studies. In April 2019, he took his final exam in a conflict communication course and then walked across the stage for his diploma in May. Nothing special about that for your typical college graduate—except for one detail: Bob is ninety years young and a great-grandfather. He is now the oldest student to receive a bachelor’s degree since Northeastern started keeping records.
In 2010, Bob’s wife of fifty-six years, Peggy, passed away. The couple’s nine children are all grown with families of their own. Bob’s career in manufacturing gave him financial security, so he decided to pursue his college degree simply for the sake of learning. “Education is always a plus and we can never have too much of it,” he said. “I thought I knew a lot of things and I found out there was a lot I didn’t know.”1
That’s true for our knowledge of God too. We think we know a lot, and then God shows us how much more there is to learn.
As we continue our exploration of 2 Peter 1:3–11, it’s important to remember this was Peter’s final letter to his followers, for he was nearing his execution. Soon after he sent his last epistle he was crucified as a martyr for Christ during the reign of the evil Roman emperor Nero. So as you read his message, remember that every word of this short letter was written by a man who knew this was his final, lasting instruction and encouragement to those who received Christ under his ministry.
With that in mind, you can’t miss Peter’s emphasis on knowledge.
Peter began and ended his book by striking this note. In his opening greeting, Peter wrote, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2). Three chapters later he came full circle and ended his letter saying, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (3:18). Between those two verses are thirteen other references to knowledge.
Knowledge and all it implies was clearly on Peter’s mind as he faced the end of his life. Even then, he wanted to add knowledge to his virtue, and he exhorted us to do the same.
The wonderful thing about Scripture is its perpetual and powerful relevance. Peter’s letters aren’t just first-century documents written to people now dead. They are God’s timeless and personal Word for you and me. Behind Peter’s pen was the Spirit’s inspiration, and we do well to imagine the Lord Jesus Himself speaking these words to us: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God. Grow in the knowledge of Me!
David Jeremiah, Everything You Need: 8 Essential Steps to a Life of Confidence in the Promises of God (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2019).We have just released a new Bible study on: Everything You Need
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