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Phileo, phileo, phileo.

posted Jun 20, 2016, 9:42 PM by Mark Lein

Today I was watching a bible study by Matt Chandler and it was on Philippians. I can't remember how now, but he also got into John 21:15–17. He mentioned how when Jesus asked Peter the first two times if he loved Him, using the word agape which is a sacrificial, decision-based love, Peter replied affirmatively using the word phileo which is a brotherly type or a friendship type of love. The third time when Jesus asked if Peter loved Him, He too used the word phileo and Peter replied with the same word. 

 This was the first time I’d heard that they were talking about different types of love in that discussion. What really struck me was that it seems that Peter was admitting his own limitation. Jesus was asking "do you love me with a sacrificial type of love?" and Peter was replying with a "No but I do love you with a friend type of love." Now granted, I wasn't there and don't know for sure but I've said the exact same thing to Jesus. I've said that I want to love Jesus with an agape kind of love but I can only admit to loving Him with a friendship kind of love.

 I found it uplifting in that Peter came from there, from being strongly rebuked by Jesus and from denying Jesus three times to being the rock that Jesus would build His church upon and that the gates of hell would not overcome it. It gives me hope that I too shall be much, much stronger in my faith and closer to Jesus one day.

 And that brings me back to Philippians with the end of Philippians 1:6 - He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit is at work in all of us and He will continue to perfect us every day, every minute even! For that I am eternally grateful to God.