Jesus said to Peter… John 21:15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?"Jesus Christ is asking all of us this question today: Do you love Me?
Do you love Me?
Do we love the Lord like we should? 1 John 3:16 "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
That was 1 John 3:16…And, how about the Gospel of John, 3:16… "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Oh, the love of God! How intense is the love of God for His children! 1 John 3:1 "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him."
In our Bible study this week, we see that Jesus had already been crucified…AND RESURRECTED!
Oh, by the way…Has anybody else ever been resurrected? (I mean, permanently, never to see death again…Lazarus died again; along with anybody else that the Lord, or the Apostles, raised from the dead.)
How about Muhammed?
No. By Jesus being raised from the dead, this proved that God sent Him, and proved that all that the Lord had said, the “truth” that He bore witness to, was just that: true!
1 Cor 15:1-2 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-- 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.
Jesus Christ is LORD! Jesus Christ is risen!
Now; Jesus was on the beach; Peter and the other disciples were depressed. Jesus was gone. They never figured it to happen this way. So, Peter decided to go fishing.
John 21:2 "Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
How quickly the disciples had forgotten all that the Lord had taught them!
Verse 4... "But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No."
Verse 7… Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish. 9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." 11 Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. 12 Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?"--knowing that it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish. 14 This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead."
These men who God used to write the Bible; these men were witnesses to all the events that happened in Israel, some 2000 years ago!
(30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:30-31)
Now John is giving testimony: an eyewitness account to what he saw.
Friends, an eyewitness, in a courtroom, is ample evidence to condemn a man to death, or to set him free!
But, even with that in mind, listen to the Apostle Peter: 2 Peter 1:16-19 16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty."
Peter went on to proclaim, that as rock-solid evidence as an eyewitness is, the word of God is even more surer than that eyewitness!
17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
The New American Standard reads… 19 And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to…”
You see, Peter said that the word of God was even more trustworthy than an eyewitness!
The important fact is this: Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, and is the Son of God, and our Savior; likewise, there is salvation in no other name, or person, other than Jesus Christ!
Now, back to this priceless scene on the beach… John 21:15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?"
Quickly, let’s have a small lesson in Greek first, before we go on. For this exact reason, and this exact Scripture, I feel that a basic knowledge of Greek will open up the Scriptures for us, and give us a new perspective, and understanding.
Let’s look at the word “love”.
LOVE Love, whether used of God or man, is an earnest and anxious desire for and an active and beneficent interest ins the well-being of the one loved."
But, in the Greek, there are many different degrees of love, and kinds of love. But, the Bible translators have translated all of these different words, “Love”. The two different kinds of love in the Bible, and in Greek culture are these:
1. Agape. “The Greek verb agape, denotes the highest, most perfect kind of love…”
2. Philo. This word means, “a fondness”, not nearly as strong as Agape, God’s love for us. The word “Phileo”, or “Philo”, actually means to be a friend, or to have the same interests with another person.
For instance, the word “Adelphos”, means brother. The word “ Philo” means love, to a lesser degree. Put the two together, we have..Philadelphia…The City of Brotherly Love.
Unfortunately, we miss much of what transpired between Jesus and Peter, because it is lost in the translation between Greek and English.
Jesus asked Peter… John 21:15 Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" Peter answered… He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." Jesus said to Peter, “Feed My lambs.”
But, there’s more here than meets the eye! 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Jesus is asking Peter: “Peter, do you AGAPE Me?” Peter’s answer is: John 21:16 He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You."
But, wait a minute! Look at what Peter really said to the Lord— “Peter, do you AGAPE Me?”
Peter says, “Lord, I PHILO You!” Jesus asks Peter again, “Do you AGAPE Me?” Peter says, “Yes Lord, I PHILO You.”
Now, a third time…BUT, this time, what does Jesus ask Peter? 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?"
John 21:17-18 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.
I suppose that Jesus asked Peter once for each time that Peter denied Him.
But also, the third time that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, He didn’t ask him if he loved Him with that “Agape” love; no, this time, Jesus said, “Peter, do you “PHILO” Me?
You see, Jesus came down to Peter’s level!
This is lost in the translation. Jesus came down to where Peter was at, and Jesus accepted Peter, JUST AS HE WAS!
Jesus does the same with us today!
Jesus accepts us, right where we are; He meets us at our particular level (each one of us is different).
His standards are at the top, and superior to everyone and everything; just like His AGAPE LOVE that He has for us is the greatest and highest form of love.
He wants us to soar with Him, and to reach the level that He has created us to walk in.
Phil 3:8-12 8 "Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ… 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me."
Friends; God created us because He wants to have fellowship with us.
Don’t ever give up! Paul had not yet attained the level where he wanted to be—neither should we get depressed because we haven’t, either!
Keep your chin up, and keep on fighting the good fight of faith!
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Cor 3:18) 4:1 Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.
God bless you all!