And today we have the third in Sean’s series…..
The last two digs we have been looking at the love of God; let us now look at that in the life of an individual, let us look at Peter.
Jesus had risen and was alive.
He had appeared to the disciples, including Peter and now on the shore, at dawn, on the Lake of Tiberius Jesus appears again and we see a great catch of fish (showing God’s provision and abundance).
After the breakfast Jesus turns to Peter and asks does He love him.
In the English this says very little but in the Greek (and even the Aramaic) there are two distinct words for love at play here.
One word, in the Greek ‘agape’ means a spiritual love, a love not based on feelings but on a response to a relationship with God, a love based on ‘breath’ that is the Spirit.
Now that is a love that is pleased and happy and full, never sad or angry.
Peter however responds with the Greek word ‘phileo’, this is the Love one holds for a friend or a brother based solely on the depth of emotion.
So in effect this love can cease when it reaches its carnal limit, this is a carnal love.
Jesus asks three times does Peter love him and three times Peter can only respond in the carnal way.
The third time however Jesus meets Peter where he is at and asks if Peter loves him as a friend, brother or neighbour, but not in a spiritual way.
Now note I know we have covered this in a dig before but as a reminder and as part of looking at love we cannot cover this enough.
God’s love met Peter so can meet us where we are at.
Peter even then was called to be one that would feed lambs (new Christians) and sheep (mature Christians).
But Peter did not have to be at the stage where he was seen to be all holy and righteous (though he was).
In time God would change Peter’s heart and renew his mind, for later in life Peter could state of both kinds of Love:
‘Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently…’in 1 Peter 1 v 22
Jesus met Peter where He was at and because of the cross and His finished work Jesus could love in a whole way that man before him with no grief, no pain; solid love of acceptance knowing that that love would work in and through Peter.
This is a love pure without limits and constant; a love that showed how the Father (God) loved us.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you love me, not based on what I have done but on your finished work. You love me lord and you can renew my mind so I can get to love you the same way you love me”.
John 21 v 15…..So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs