Christ Now Rules Through His Human Nature

Transfiguration Sunday

2 Peter 1:16-18

“For we did not follow clever myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but had ourselves seen his glory when he received honor and praise from God the Father by a voice that came to him from the great glory: “This is my dear Son with whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice coming from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.”

St. Peter here references a historical event described in the gospel, Matthew 17:1-9…Accordingly, St. Peter now wants to say: “What I preach to you concerning Christ and his coming–the gospel we proclaim–we have not made up or derived from clever myths that are able to talk splendidly about all things, as can be seen in the Greek myths from that time. For those are nothing but myths and fairy tales and useless blather, although they cleverly adduce them and want to be wise in doing so. We neither listened to such myths nor followed them, that is to say, we do not preach human tales but are certain that our message is from God and saw it with our own eyes and heard it with our own ears, namely, when we were with Christ on the mountain and saw and heard his glory.”…This is how certain every preacher should be. He should not doubt that he has and preaches God’s Word so as to be ready to die for it, since it means life for us. But no human being is so holy as to be able to die for his the teaching he taught based on his own ideas. This is why it is concluded here that the apostles were certain that their gospel was God’s Word. And here is also proved that the gospel is nothing other than a sermon concerning Christ. This is why no one should listen to any other sermon; for the Father does not want there to be any other sermon. “This is my dear Son,” says he, “listen to him,” he is your teacher, as if he wanted to say: “When you hear him, you have heard me.”…Why does Peter here note the power and coming of Christ? The power means that he has power over all things so that all things must lie prostrate before him. This power will last for as long as the world exists. Christ’s kingdom exists for as long we exist in flesh and blood and live on earth, until the Last Day. Then a different time will begin when he will hand the kingdom over to God the Father, as St. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:23-24, 28…What? Does the kingdom not belong to God the Father right now? Is not everything subject to him? Answer: St. Paul interprets himself in that chapter and says: “So that God may be all in all,” that is, God will be whatever anyone needs and shall have, just as St. Peter said in 2 Peter 1:4 that we shall become partakers of the divine nature. This is why we will have everything God has, and he will be everything we need, wisdom, righteousness, strength, and life. At this time, we believe this and comprehend it only with our ears and only have it in the Word of God. But then, in the future, the Word will cease, and our soul will open up and see and experience all this as a present reality. This is, then, what St. Paul and St. Peter mean when they say that the power of Christ’s kingdom exists now: Now he uses the Word and thereby he rules through his human nature over the devil, sin, death, and all things. But on the Last Day, this will become visible. Therefore, although God rules always, this is not apparent to us, Hebrews 2:8. He sees us, but we do not see him. This is why Christ must hand the kingdom over to him, so that we too may see it. Then we shall be Christ’s brothers and God’s children, 1 John 3:2.

St. Louis ed., 9:1356-1359.

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