Connections 02.19.2023: We’ve Heard It All Before

2 Peter 1:12-21

“Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you.” (2 Pet 1:12)

People who have grown up in church, been regular Sunday School attenders, or listened to enough sermons based on the three-year cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary may feel like they’ve heard it all before. We grew up with flannelgraphs and coloring pages telling the Bible stories of heroes (David) and villains (Goliath), kings (Solomon) and queens (Esther), strong men (Samson) and demure ladies (the Virgin Mary), not to mention the wild fish tales (Jonah) and fishermen (so many disciples!). As adults we study those simple stories again and realize they are not so simple; we learn from David’s misdeeds and his guilt, Solomon’s wisdom and Esther’s courage, Mary’s pondering at Jesus’s birth and her presence at his cross, and even Jonah’s post-fish posturing and pouting.

We’ve heard these stories so many times, studied them over and over, heard them preached every three years, and colored inside all their lines. Maybe we can be forgiven for feeling like we can “check the box” of the Bible. We’ve heard it all before.

But—or rather, “therefore,” Peter says—maybe we’ve heard it all before but we’re going to hear it again. And again and again. Because even though we “know already” and are “established in the truth,” the life of faith is not a Bible 101 course to be passed or failed. It is not even Advanced Placement Biblical Studies that concludes with a formidable essay exam.

Second Peter takes the form of a deathbed epistle, one last word from the disciple to his followers. They’ve heard all the personal stories from this disciple who walked with Jesus. Peter was there for Jesus’s ministry, his transfiguration, his death, and his resurrection. Once Peter is gone, there will be no more eyewitness accounts of Jesus’s life. The stories and lessons the disciple leaves behind must be told—again and again—to refresh the memories (v. 13) of the believers, to prompt them to recall (v. 15) all that they already know.

The goal of the life of faith is not just learning—checking the box or passing the final exam—but never forgetting. So let’s hear the old, old stories. Let’s color their images (maybe outside the lines this time?). Let’s read and preach and sing them. Let them refresh us and our memories. We’ve heard them all before, thanks be to God, so let us recall and retell them again and again.


  • Are there Bible stories you have heard and studied so many times you don’t think there is anything more you could learn from them?
  • Are there stories you learn something new from every time you hear them?
  • Who have been your teachers, the people who have shared God’s stories—and their own testimonies of God’s work—with you?
  • What lessons keep coming back to you again and again?
  • How is remembering a part of your faith life? Why is it important to have your memory “refreshed”?
  • Is there something about following God that you tend to forget? What can you do to practice remembering? Is there someone you can ask to help remind you?

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is the lead editor of Connections. She is a graduate of Samford University and Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and as a military spouse has had nine (at last count) different hometowns in the past 20 years. She and her husband Scott and sons Sam and Levi live in the Washington D.C. area. In recent years, Nikki has written Smyth & Helwys curricula as well as devotionals for and Baptist Women in Ministry. She weaves clergy stoles, knits almost anything, and dreams of making her dreadful novel drafts into readable books. She blogs about faith and making things at


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