Well in my last Blog I talked a lot about Love, and we are going to talk about it again. So if you haven’t read my last blog you are probably going to want to go do that now, then come back. Don’t worry I’ll wait for ya!………..
So what does “Loving like Peter” mean? Fortunately for you that is why I am writing tonight! So get your cup of tea (or coffee if your into that kind of thing), put on your reading glasses and buckle up because it is going to be a wild ride!
Peter was one of the three disciples in Jesus’ inner circle. So he was kind of a big deal! The night Jesus was arrested, Jesus told Peter that he would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed… Well Peter didn’t believe Him, he forgot about it and !!SPOILER ALERT!! he ultimately denied Christ three times.. When this happened and Peter realized what he had done he started crying and was extremely disappointed in himself… You can read the whole story in Mark 14.
Now in John 21, after Jesus has been killed, placed in the tomb for three days, raised and has gone out looking for his Disciples who were out fishing. He shows up on the shore and when Peter realizes who it is, he jumps out of the boat to greet him!
As they sat around the camp fire this happens…
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
In English this story doesn’t make much sense other than Peter is mad because Jesus keeps asking him the same question. But if we look at it in Greek we will see there is a lot more going on then just that.
Time for the Greek lesson for the day. In English we have one word for Love.. well in Greek there are three. There is Agape which means unconditional Love. There is Aros Which is a sensual Love. And lastly there is Philia which is a brotherly Love. This will help us understand this passage a little bit better.
The first time Christ asks Peter if he Loves Him, He uses the word agapa? which is the unconditional kind of Love, Peter replies with phile? which is the brotherly kind of Love. The next time, the same thing. However the Last time Jesus ask’s the question He uses the word phile?. So what does this all mean? Well, Peter was so broken and ashamed of what he had done to Christ that when Jesus asked him if he unconditionally Loved Him, his only reply could be, “I Love you like a brother Jesus.” This happens again with the same response. Then finally Jesus asks him, “Do you Love me like a brother Peter?” And I can see Peter’s response, he is sitting by the fire and he is just about in tears when Christ ask’s him this and he just blurts out “Jesus you know everything and you know that I can only Love you like a brother!”
At camp I realized, I have been Loving like Peter, I went my own way and denied Jesus and lived for me. But he kept pursuing me and I even swam out to meet him when He found me, but it wasn’t until last week that I feel I was truly reinstated and even now in my brotherly Love for Christ he wants me to “take care of His sheep!” And it is my hope that through this next year of taking care of His people I will re-ignite my Love and passion for him and grow this brotherly Love into an unconditional Love!