Why don't you love Jesus

(John 13, 38) (Luke 22, 61-62).




The first question is directed to his leadership role in the disciples' circle, to the rushing forward of Peter, to the big words of a strong man who kept falling on his nose: Do you love me more than these? We are reminded of his great words, of his discipleship and denial. What about Simon: Do you still want to be something special, bigger than the others, more important than the others, faster than the others: Do you love me? more as this?

Peter cannot lie, and so he says truthfully: Yes, I love you!

Peter confesses his love for Jesus three times. But he no longer claims that he loves him more than the others. Nor does he dare to say: I love you as you love me, so full of self-surrender!

There are three words for love in Greek:

Agape = the divine, self-sacrificing love that was shown above all in the life and death of Jesus!

Philia = the friendly love

Eros = the erotic love determined by sympathy.

Jesus asks twice about divine love and three times Peter answers it with friendly love, with Philia. The third time, Jesus also asks about friendly love.

`` Simon, son of John, do you love me? ''

Do you love me the way I love you? When asked the second question, Peter truthfully says: Yes. Yes i love you But not as devoted, as self-sacrificing as you are. I just love you

The third question hits Peter's heart: `` Simon, son of John, do you love me? '' Now Jesus no longer asks about divine love, about agape, about self-sacrificing and devoted love. He just asks his disciple if he loves him! Just as Peter knows that Jesus knows his failure and guilt, his denial and betrayal, so he now hopes that Jesus knows about his love too! Unlike the two times before, Peter no longer says so loudly, `` Yes, Lord, you know. '' But now he says: `` Lord, you know everything; you know I love you!

Jesus asks Peter three times about his love. Whether he loves him more than the others, whether his love is as devoted as that of his Lord, ultimately whether Peter really loves him?

And the answer to this third and final question is crucial: is your heart burning for me? Do you love me? Peter no longer refers to his strength, his knowledge, his role as a leader, as he did so often in the past. Here Peter is now very small, no longer an official and co-worker, but above all man and person, Simon, the son of John. Here Peter no longer trumps with his knowledge and understanding, with his power and strength. Here he is now standing empty-handed in front of his master: `` Lord, you know everything! ''

That is crucial! My knowledge is limited. My resolutions are smoke and mirrors. I have denied you and betrayed you. It doesn't matter to me! Everything depends on you. You know everything. You are the lord You know i love you

And after Peter's confession that he loves Jesus, he is called to the service: `` Feed my lambs! '' `` Tend my sheep! '' `` Feed my sheep! ''

Krefeld, March 27, 2005
Pastor Siegfried Ochs

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