Sometimes the English language can be a very confusing thing. I could show you my High School report cards to prove my struggle with it. But quite often we will read Scripture and find ourselves confused because we are translating from one language to another. No place is this more easily recognized than with the word "Love". We use love to talk about food, clothes, and then relationships. We love ice cream but also our spouse. It can be confusing. However, in the Greek language there are several words for love and sometimes when you are reading Scripture you need to remember that.
In John 21 there is an incredible exchange between Peter and Jesus. But with our confusing language it is hard to see what is really going on. Jesus keeps asking Peter if he loves him with Peter replying of course I do. But what is really going on?
Jesus uses the word "Agape" this is a word which describes unconditional, selfless love. A love that does not love in order to get but a love that gives. But Peter uses the word "Phileo". This is a word which means the love of a family or friendship. In other forms it gives us the first part of the word Philadelphia the city of brotherly love. Can you imagine how it sounded that day: Jesus - "Peter do you have unconditional, selfless, giving type of love for me". Peter - "Jesus you know I am your friend".
So why does this matter?
What is the greatest commandment?
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind". This is Agape Love. Love that is displayed in the heart with affection. Love that is a soul love and is faithful and devoted. A love which penetrates the mind into reason, knowledge and imagination. This is the love we are called to.
Follow Jesus means loving Jesus. He first loved us and demonstrated that on the cross.
Love Jesus with everything.
Jesus Follower, Husband, Father, and Pastor and trying to keep those in the right order....