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"Our beloved brother Paul"

23-09-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet

:15 And be deeming the patience of our Lord salvation, according as our beloved brother Paul also writes to you, according to the wisdom given to him, :16 as also in all the epistles, speaking in them concerning these things, in which are some things hard to apprehend, which the unlearned and unstable are twisting, as the rest of the scriptures also, to their own destruction. 2Peter 3

New ways… Peter, during his career, as apostle, had to make an enormous switch in his thinking. To him and ‘the twelve’ were entrusted the Evangel of the circumcision (Gal.2:7). Full of enthusiasm, in Jerusalem had he preached the risen Messiah, with the message that if Israel would repent, the Messiah would return to fulfil all what was spoken of by the prophets (Acts 3:19-21). However, the history in the book of Acts relates how Jerusalem rejected this message, reaching its lowest point with the stoning of Stephen by the Sanhedrin. From that moment, the thirteenth apostle comes into view: “Saul, who also is called “Paul”. This one, from out of heaven, outside the borders of Israel, is called and made ready in order to proceed in a completely new way. Apart from Jerusalem, he was sent to the nations, with a message without privileges for the Jew and without a prospect on Jerusalem’s repentance and restoration. His message was called, “the Evangel of the uncircumcision” – a message in which Israel’s privileges played not a single role. Paul and Jerusalem Paul’s message was exceptionally difficult for the apostles in Jerusalem. In Galatians 1 and 2, Paul writes of his experience with them. Although the basis of Paul’s message was identical to that of ‘the twelve’ (the risen Messiah), his perspective was totally different. He knew things the twelve did not know. Paul had received a celestial update and was informed of details that were, thus far, concealed, for instance, the truth of the ecclesia being one body with Christ, in which there is no difference between Jew and Greek. credits When Peter has come to the end of his life, he, in the meantime, also has learned the ins and outs of things. For the time being, the Lord will not return he makes clear in 2 Peter 3. Not because the Lord is slack concerning His promise, but among other things, because He momentarily is busy with different things. That he had learned from “our beloved brother Paul”. Peter directs his Jewish readers to him and to the letter he had written to them (de Hebrew letter?!). Would they wish to know more about “the patience of our Lord”, then they have to check in with Paul, because “in all the epistles” he speaks of “these things”. Regardless of how difficult some things in them (from their background perspective) were to be understood, in Paul’s letters could they find the answer to the question concerning the delay of the return of Christ. And how ever much Peter in his life had stood in opposition to Paul, eventually, he had noticed and acknowledged “the wisdom given unto him”. ——————————— first published (in Dutch): 21 september 2011 translation: Peter Feddema

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