When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, 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.” -Jn 21:15 ESV
This is one of those strange conversations in the Bible, where any seeking believer will realize something else is going on here, that fleshly eyes, ears and feelings miss. We are dealing with 2 different Greek words but both translated love. Phileo is brotherly love, Agape is Godly, unconditional love! Let’s be like Jesus and look at the heart of the issue. (v 15-17 my emphasis): Jesus: Simon…do you love (agape) me more than these [fish?]. Peter: Yes, Lord; you know that I love (phileo) you. Jesus: Simon…do you…love (agape) me? Peter: Yes, Lord, you know that I love (phileo) you. Jesus: Simon…do you love (phileo) me? Peter: [Grieved] “Lord…you know that I love (phileo) you.
Leader, Jesus was asking Peter if he loved him with the love of God, a love that may require sacrifice. After all, Jesus had just gone through horrendous torture for our sake, something he did not want to do but did anyway because of his agape love. In contrast, Peter avoided possible torture by denying Jesus. Jesus twice asked Peter, “Do you agape me? That is, are you willing to do things for my sake that you do not want to do? The third time Jesus spoke to Peter, he came to Peter’s level and asked if Peter were indeed a true friend (phileo), which grieved Peter.
Conduit, there has never been an emergency meeting of the trinity; God is in control! Continue to allow the Holy Spirit to examine your heart, to SQUEEZE you, to sift you! For it is from the overflow of the heart that the mouth speaks. Today, let your words and your heart SPEAK LIFE! Jesus HIMSELF asks us in Luke 6:46: “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? Do you LOVE JESUS? Is He your FIRST LOVE? Then KNOW HIS WORD and keep HIS WORD! Amen!