How Do I Love Thee?
“Peter, do you love me more than anything, do you choose me over everything?”
“Yes Lord, of course you’re my best friend.”
“But Peter, do you love me more than anything and choose me over everything?”
“Yes Lord, I think the world of you.”
“Peter, do you really like me?”
That’s a paraphrase of the last conversation Jesus had with His once bold disciple, Peter. Repeatedly, Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him using the word, “agape”. This Greek word refers to perfect love, like God has for us. But Peter hesitated, unsure if he was capable of agape love. So he responded to Jesus using the word “phileo”, the Greek word for the love of a close friendship.
Peter was having a crisis of faith. Just a month earlier he had told Jesus that he loved Him enough to die for Him. Then, everything had gone wrong. Not only had Peter been unable to save His Lord from crucifixion, he lost control of his emotions and actions and denied that he even knew Jesus.
How could he be sure that he really loved Jesus now? How could Jesus love him?
Finally, Peter burst out, “Lord you know all things, you know that I love you!”
The Bible tells us that we love God because He first loved us. Jesus also commanded us to love others as He loves us. God knows us completely. He knows and loves us even when we doubt Him and even when we aren’t sure if our faith is real.
Jesus accepted Peter’s words and said, “Feed my sheep.” With this instruction, He gave Peter the responsibility of accepting that love and sharing it with others.
Do you believe God has agape love for you? Are you sharing it?
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