As part of Peter’s greeting in his second epistle, he includes what could be seen as a prayer for us. Imagine for a moment that the great Apostle Peter is expressing not only his own attitude toward us but also God’s attitude toward us. In the second verse of his epistle, he says, “May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

Knowledge is an important subject to Peter in his two epistles to suffering believers. This short book with only three chapters begins with the idea of knowledge and ends with the same idea. The last verse of the book says, “You, therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” This Greek word for knowledge is “gnosis.” But when Peter uses it, he prefixes it with a preposition to intensify or change its meaning somewhat. “Epignosis” is not just intellectual knowledge but relational as well. Biblical writers used this term to explain more intimate connections. It’s even used at times for sexual intimacy, Adam “knew” his wife Eve, and she conceived a son.

Peter talked about God’s foreknowledge in his first epistle. He presented that in a way that his suffering readers would find encouragement. God cared about all their struggles and pains. He knows about them all and had promised to work all things together for our good. Trusting in God’s omniscience and promises of deliverance brings comfort to believers. False teachers in that day, like today, present it all as being up for chance. Nothing is certain and no one knows what’s going to happen in the future. As I write this, I just left the deathbed of an old friend. We were stationed together for 2 years back in the late 1960s and stayed in touch on and off over the years. I don’t know if he heard me or not, but I assured him that as a believer in Jesus he has promises of God for eternal life and he could rest in that truth. In the gospel comes “grace and peace.” Peter requested that both grace and peace be “multiplied” to his readers. I wish that for my friend. I wanted him to know that God knows. God knowing and understanding make truth more than just propositional. It becomes personal. That is the way Peter intended it. Black wrote, “Here, as elsewhere in Scripture, knowledge is not simply an intellectual matter but also a relational one. The false teachers did not truly ‘know’ God. Peter’s prayer, then, is that his readers will have the abundant grace and peace that comes from knowing God and knowing the truth about God and about Jesus our Lord.”[1]

[1] Black, Allen, and Mark C. Black. 1998. 1 & 2 Peter. The College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin, MO: College Press Pub.