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Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Friday, 19 February 2016

John Day 274 - You Don't Love Me

So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”
And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep."

Where do we begin? From yesterday you'll notice Jesus repeats His question 3 times. Peter had denied knowing Him 3 times at the cross. That's an obvious parallel. However there is much more going on here. There is the name Jesus uses to address Him - Simon. We'll talk about that tomorrow. Today we'll specifically look at the conversation between them. Unfortunately much got lost in the translation. The Greeks have several words for love/affection. The highest most complete love is agape. The next is phileo. This is brotherly affection. It's a strong love but not agape love. Then there is eros which is sexual love. We might call it lust but it's more wholesome and genuine than lust.

Phileo is half of Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love is a compound word. Adelphos is brother.

Jesus says to Simon (Peter) "Do you agape Me?"
Peter answers "Yes Lord, You know I phileo You".
Jesus repeats the exact same question. Peter gives the exact same answer.
The third time Jesus says "Simon do you phileo me?"

This time Peter is grieved. The question literally pains him. Jesus has downgraded His question. He is now questioning if Peter even loves Him as a brother.

Peter's answer is interesting. "Lord You know everything. You know that I phileo you."

It had not been that long ago that Peter swore he would stand by Jesus no meter what. He would die for Him even if all the other disciples fled. He professed the deepest most loyal love possible. Within 24 hours he watched Jesus die while denying he even knew who He was.

As if Jesus mere presence wasn't a painful enough reminder, Jesus lit a charcoal fire. The same fire Peter had stood by while the cursing and denials fell from his traitorous lips. As if that wasn't painful enough Jesus re-enacted the morning Peter had first chosen to leave his fishing life behind and follow Jesus. And if those three tangible reminders weren't enough now Jesus asks him three times about his love for Him.

The fascinating part is Peter's response. Gone is the bravado. Gone are the big claims of super heroism. Without being pushed he acknowledges that his love is less than he had claimed or believed. When Jesus pushes him by repeating the question Peter stands by his answer. The third time Jesus challenges Peter's downgraded answer. "Are you sure you even love Me as a brother?"

The question hurts. It hurts because when he said he would stand by Jesus no matter what and even die for Him if need be he meant it. He believed it was true. Then he found out very painfully that none of it was true. Peter's opinion of himself was wrong. He couldn't trust his own self-evaluation. 

Think about that...

The entire ordeal and what he took away from it humbled him. When Jesus asked him about his love for Jesus he knew it was less than he had originally claimed. Jesus repeats the question and again Peter confesses his love is less than... but the third time Jesus questions even the downgraded answer Peter had given. In essence Jesus is asking "Are you sure you even love Me that much?"

The question cut like a knife.

"Lord You know all things..."

What a contrast from Jesus declaring:

"You will all be offended because of Me and will scatter" to which Peter bravely and defiantly responds "No way Jesus, not Me. I will stand with You no matter what. I will die for you."

Peter's false, even delusional opinion of himself has been shattered. His opinion of what Jesus knows to be the truth has been seriously upgraded. Put plainly Peter has far less trust in himself and far more trust in Jesus and that is a fantastic thing.

"Lord You know all things..."

If God says my own heart is "deceitful above all things and desperately wicked" I have two choices. I can deny it and profess my great loyalty, love, and bravado, or I can trust His evaluation of me.

Sooner or later the truth will come out no matter which option I choose. Tomorrow will go deeper and the news will get much better. 

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