About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
two Greek words that are translated as love in our
English New Testament. The noun "agape"
is love that is exhibited by sacrificing yourself for another,
whether your sacrifice is reciprocated or not.
The noun "philos" is a free flowing exchange of love that is
reciprocated between friends. Both
agape and philos are necessary for the good health of a meaningful
conversation with Peter (John 21:15 - 19) is interesting.
In our English text, Jesus asked Peter three times if Peter loved
Him. The Greek text is more
explicit when it comes to our English word "love" in this
passage. The first two times
Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, the word "love" is translated
from the Greek verb "agapeo" (sacrificial love).
The third time the word "love" is translated from Greek
verb "phileo" (reciprocal or friendship love).
This tells me that Jesus desired both sacrificial love and
reciprocal friendship love to be realized in His relationship with Peter.
not only desire Peter to sacrifice himself for Him.
He desired a free-flowing, reciprocal, friendly, loving
relationship with Peter, and herein is our problem.
Our selfish human nature finds it difficult to express agape,
sacrificial love, when our sacrifice is not reciprocated.
We prefer philos, reciprocal love between friends.
It's much easier to love those who love us in return.
How, then, do we respond to unreciprocated or unappreciated love?
Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of agape, lives in us as we claim, we should
possess the needed Holy Spirit influenced self-security that enables us to
not worry about unreciprocated love. It
is what Jesus continues to live with.
His life of selfless sacrifice is the ultimate, universal, act of
love ever to be demonstrated in human history, and it is continually
ignored and unappreciated. I
dare say that each one of us who claim to benefit from His act of agape do
not appreciate it as He would like.
I learn from Jesus' conversation with Peter is that both agape and philos
are fundamental to the good health of all relationships, and, if the
Spirit of agape lives within us, we can exhibit sacrificial love when it
is not reciprocated.