What a colorful career Simon Peter has had! Andrew, his brother, comes home with the announcement; “We have found the Messiah.” Peter readily responded and was brought to Jesus (John 1:41, 42).
Soon we find him fishing on the shores of Galilee. The Savior issued the call, “Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” Peter responded by giving up his nets, his boats, forsaking all and following Christ (Mark 1:16-18).
On the Sea of Galilee Peter is overwhelmed by the miraculous catch of fish and falls “down at Jesus’ knees.” There he paid homage to Christ’s divine glory and omnipotence and confessed his own unworthiness (Luke 5:8).
Years later that loyalty to Christ flashes forth in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Lord’s life is drawing to a close as Judas and his band arrive to arrest Him. Peter defended his Master by drawing a sword and whacking away at the mob (John 18:10). His aim was bad: he only cut off an ear.
But now the clouds of his approaching martyrdom appear on the horizon. He frankly tells his readers that “…shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shewed me” (2 Peter 1:14). That execution by Nero took place about three years later as best we can tell.
So these letters that follow, written from the banks of the rivers of Babylon, are both somber in their setting and urgent in their appeal. Let us turn our attention to these writings.