Saturday, January 24, 2009

Peter's Phileo Vs. Christ's Agape

In light of my previous note on Peter, I was given a new insight into the life of Peter in the context of Jesus's question, "Peter, do you love me?" Peter says, "Lord, you know that I love you." The love that Jesus was speaking of was a very different type of love than Peter responded with. The limit of the English language is that there is one "love" which describes all different types of love. This is why I love word studies so much. Jesus was asking Peter, "Peter, do you AGAPE me?" Peter responds, "Lord you know that I PHILEO you." Jesus called for the God-love, that can only be a responses to the Divine love that was poured onto Peter. This kind of love was the kind that was totally against Peter's impulsive and passionate personality. This is the love of deep committment, rational decision, and relentless faithfulness. Vine's says that this is the reverential love toward the Giver and practical love toward other partakers, with a desire to help others seek the Giver. The Love that Peter was offering was the Phileo love, which is a deep attachment and affinity towards others, which, while good, was not the type that Christ called for. Peter's love was based on feeling, just as many of his actions. Christ's purpose was to prepare Peter for service in the midst of the most dire, horrible situations, even death. Feelings would scream for Peter to run and to deny Christ. Jesus says to Peter, "Peter, your phileo is not enough, because it is rooted in you. You need the Agape, which is rooted in Me and My love for you. He chooses to love us, and we are to choose to love Him back. Don't get me wrong. Passion is a vital part of the commitment to Christ and the life of the beloved (Agapos). It can't be the only thing, or it will fail. Dry committment without passion will also fail. True Christianity, however, produces a passion as well as a deep commitment and reverential awe. In 1 Corinthians 13, we see love in the same form as the love which Jesus spoke to Peter about. Agape, which is the work of the Spirit within. The description of this kind of love portrays behaviors and attitudes which we cannot produce in ourselves. They will know that we are believers by our love. I am challenged by this study to evaluate my lifestyle and attitude toward others in my life. I am presenting a practical love toward others, and do I have a desire to help others seek the Giver. As Christ displayed through His life, "greater "Agape" has no one than this, than He would lay His life down for His friends." Friends, let us follow in His footsteps.

1 comment:

  1. Whoa there, deep stuff! Wow. That's so good to dwell on. Emotion can be so fickle, our love for Christ has to be rooted even deeper, so that whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, whatever "hell" Satan tries to throw our way, we choose to delight in God's love, to trust God's love, displayed on the cross for our sins, and dwelling in that love above all else is the only thing that will keep hell (seperation from God,) from beginning to grow within our own hearts. (I've really been pondering the conceptions of heaven and hell that CS Lewis proposed in Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce, and Tim Keller also expounds on this in The Reason for God... it makes me desire to take the battle against sin much more seriously, I must say...) Thank you for breaking down those words for love, very enlightening.