“Love People – And It’s Harder Than You Think”
Pastor Kris Freeman
Things We Love: Week 2
February 18, 2018
Scripture: John 21:15-17 (NLT)
15 After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him. 16 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.” “Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said. 17 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.
Notes about this passage:
- Post crucifixion and resurrection: This was after Peter denied Jesus three times
- Peter was in the boat, where he was when Jesus called him
- The last time Peter stood by a fire of coals was when he denied Jesus
The Greek language has more than one word for love.
The ones we don’t talk about much are eros (romantic love) and storge (instinctual love, like parent to child, child to parent, etc).
- Jesus asked “Do you love me supremely” (agapas)
- Peter answered “Yes, I love you fondly” (phileo)
The word Phileo is used 25 times in the New Testament.
Phileo (Strong’s G5368) – to approve of, be fond of, like or sanction
The third time Jesus asked Peter the question, he changed the word for love to phileo.
It was clear Peter was ASHAMED to say that he loved Jesus on the same level. Why?
– Peter had a chance to prove it, and he denied him
– Peter always loved to say it, and sometimes Jesus REBUKED him
– Peter knew he loved him as he asked, but he didn’t feel WORTHY to say it
How many times are we called to love others and our ability to love comes with CONDITIONS?
The word phileo was used for fondness, but it was also used to describe PRIDEFUL love that was selfish and material, self-driven.
When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. – Matthew 6:5
If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. – Matthew 10:37
Jesus knows that loving others is DIFFICULT and even harder when you have STIPULATIONS you put on your own forgiveness!
To send Peter as a disciple and apostle to reach the world, he has to transform the way he sees love!
- Love is not TOLERANCE
If Peter just tolerated the religious rulers, he would never truly preach to them.
If Peter just tolerated the people who did not know Jesus, he would never reach them.
If Peter just tolerated the behavior he had shown, he would never forgive himself.
Peter was willing to SETTLE on phileo and God wanted him to show agapeo.
2. Love is not PREJUDICE
Prejudice will always destroy your true heart for the Gospel.
Prejudice ruined Jonah.
Prejudice set the stage for The Good Samaritan.
Prejudice is racial, sexist, phobic, personal, hateful, angry and tired.
And prejudice will always prove that you love YOURSELF more than you love God and love others!
3. Love is not CONVENIENT
Peter was conflicted because Jesus led.
Peter was confused because Jesus loved.
Peter was concerned because Jesus left (and was leaving again!)
But all of these were necessary for Peter to truly experience God’s love and become the apostle that Jesus has molded him to be through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t let your phileo hold back your agapeo.
Peter just about let his pride hold back his call.