Sermon Higher Love: Learning From Our Mistakes
Scripture: John 21:15-19
Jesus loves us. Through His love we can take our entire love life to the next level. This ultimate love is called Agape. So our affectionate love (Storge), our creative & sexual love (Eros), and our noble brotherly & sisterly love (philo) for things and people in this world can reach greater fulfillment when we connect them to ultimate love (Agape). This offer comes into clear view during Jesus’ concluding talk with Peter. He had publicly denied Christ three times, so three times Jesus asked him the same basic diagnostic question. Peter had betrayed his best life three times. So Christ gave him the prescription by which he could be healed from his self inflicted wounds and sinful cowardice. We need to be asked the same questions. We can be healed by the same answers.
1. Jesus: “Do you Peter ultimately love (agapas) me?”. Do you hear Jesus’ question?
Peter: “Yes Lord. You know I love (philo), brotherly love you.”
Jesus: “Then feed/take care (poimane) of my sheep.”
2. Jesus: “Do you Peter ultimately love (agapas) me?”
Peter: “Yes, Lord, You know that I brotherly love (philo) you.”
Jesus: “Then feed (take care of) my sheep.”
3. The third time Jesus changed his question by altering which form of love Peter loved him. He used the same form of love Peter had been using, brotherly love. Peter, made aware of his limited capacity to trust enough so he could love (agape) enough, was deeply hurt by Jesus third question. He exclaimed, “Lord you know everything. You know that I brotherly love you.” Jesus again said, “Feed (care for) MY sheep.” Peter was within reach of a breakout love life. So Jesus then gave him the call of a disciple. “Follow ME.” What about you?