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May 30 – Of pots and kettles 

“Just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” – 2 Peter 3:15b-16

Scripture reading: Ephesians 3:1-10

When it seems to us that person A is as guilty of what they accuse person B of, we call it ‘the pot calling the kettle black.’ There are things in 2 Peter that are ‘hard to understand.’ Nevertheless, it is comforting to hear what Peter says about Paul’s writings, because there are some parts of Paul’s letters that are tricky to understand and interpret.

Perhaps one of the more obvious examples of this is Romans 11 and the place of Israel in God’s plan of salvation. Paul says that there is a partial hardening of Israel “until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in.” But they will be once again grafted into Christ, “and in this way all Israel will be saved.” There have probably been more words written about what this means and how and when it will happen than of any other part in the Bible.

An important principle of Bible interpretation is that we must let the plain interpret the less plain. And in this way, Peter helps us understand Paul, because he explains that Christ will not return until every last Gentile or Jew, whom God has chosen in Christ, comes to faith in Christ. And so, it does not matter if we can’t quite work out all the details of exactly how this works out and when, so long as we believe that all the elect will come to faith in Christ before He returns.

Suggestions for prayer

Thank the Lord for His Word, and pray for humility and insight when it comes to hard-to-understand passages.

Rev. Andre Holtslag is a graduate of Mid-America Reformed Seminary in Dyer, Indiana (2007). At the present time he serves the Reformed Church of Avondale, which is in the city of Auckland, New Zealand, and is one of the Reformed Churches in New Zealand (RCNZ). Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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