Peter do you love me?
We use the word “love” today in so many different ways and different meanings. We say we love our husband or wife, or we love our children, or we love a particular friend, we love our home or we love our car, our town or our church and the list goes on! The English language does not distinguish or define the type of love we are speaking of as in some languages. In Hebrew, for example, there are several definitions or usages of the word “love”. When reading the scriptures we must determine which “love” definition is being used so we can receive the true meaning. It does make a difference!
In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus said that the first and great commandment is ~ “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul, and with all your mind. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus used the Greek word “agapao” which is to love dearly. We are to love God dearly with our whole being, with our heart, with our mind, with our will and with our emotion! Agapao ~ to love dearly, devoted to.
In John 21:15-17 ~ We see Jesus, after His resurrection, eating breakfast with the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. Jesus used the word (agapao) love when speaking to Peter in verse 15 & 16 but Peter answered using the word (phileo) to like. I believe since Peter had betrayed Jesus, he was afraid to use (agapao) love which claimed complete devotion. Jesus ministered to Peter showing love (agapao) and grace by restoring him back into the ministry telling him to be a shepherd to His sheep! In verse 17, Jesus spoke to Peter again and used phileo – love. There are several interpretations on these passages but I choose to believe God is showing us that He knows our hearts and will always meet us where we are. He will encourage us and bring restoration when needed! Peter didn’t stay in that spiritual state but continued to extend his faith and grow in his love for Jesus, his Messiah!
God is asking you today, do you love me? Do you agapao me? You are called to love (agapao) God, agapao your neighbor and yourselves! For without love (agapao) we are nothing, we are a clanging cymbal or sounding brass, I Corinthians 13:1.
The Lord loves you with an everlasting, all encompassing love ~ agapao! Do you love me asks the Lord? Say yes to the Lord today, grow in your love for Him and love Him with agapao love. When you do, His love will spill out from you to all those around you and they will know the Kingdom of God is near and they have been touched by the only one true God!