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Archive for February 3rd, 2014

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Ah, February … the month of  l  o  v  e  .

But, love can have so many meanings!

There’s the “I love my best friend” sort of love.

The “I love making up with hubby after a fight” sort of love.

The “I would die for you” sort of love.

(and, of course, the “I love dark chocolate” sort of love).

They each come from a Greek word, defining different types, or ways of love …

agape or unconditional love

eros or passionate, physical love

philo or a caring, friendship love

… but it’s all really Greek to me 😉

I was thinking of these different ‘loves’ as I was reading the story of Jesus and Peter, when Jesus asks Peter, three times, “do you love me?” and then Peter responds affirmatively, each time. But then Jesus gives Peter a condition attached to Peter’s affirmation of love … “feed … take care of … feed.”

So, for months now, I have been considering this interaction and wondering, is Jesus saying that love is conditional?

Here is the story from John 21:15-19

Jesus Reinstates/Restores Peter

“When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!””

Next week, we will dive further into this. Until then, ponder with me conditional love.

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