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Big Breakfast

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.’(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ (John 21:15-19, NRSV)

Do you love me?

Yes, you know I love you.

Do you love me?

Yes, you know I love you.

Do you love me?

Yes, you know I love you.

Sounds like an exchange any of would get more upset about as the one we loved asked us 3 times if we loved them. But the problem is, Greek has 3 words for love, where English has one.

Greek has ἀγάπη which is unconditional love, φιλέω which is brotherly love, and ερως which is erotic love. This last one does not come up in the Greek New Testament, but the first 2 do.

The exchange between Peter and Jesus is more like this:

Do you ἀγάπη me?

Yes, you know I φιλέω you.

Do you ἀγάπη me?

Yes, you know I φιλέω you.

Do you φιλέω me?

Yes, you know I φιλέω you.

Did Jesus give in? The first 2 times He asked Peter do you unconditionally love me, and as Peter responded with I love you like a brother, then Jesus asked do you love me as your brother, and Peter said yes. Then Jesus tells him what will happen.

How do we love Jesus? Could we take a seat at the Big Breakfast?

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Listen…

listen-with-heart-275x182“The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists of listening to them. Just as love of God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for our brothers and sisters is learning to listen to them”-Dietrich Bonhoeffer-Life together

How many of us listen to each other?  Really listen.  We might hear what someone else is saying to us, but do we hear them, or do we think we know what they said?

Most of us will hear 3 – 4 words of someone speaking to us and then start formulating what we are going to say.  We will hear where a sentence starts and then begin working on our come back, what we will respond with. In doing this, you are no longer listening, but are paying attention to yourself.  This is one of the first things I work on with couples that I am working through premarital counseling with.  Communication is the basis for every relationship, and if you are not communicating there is no basis for that relationship. This is why we pray, to communicate with God.  Part of this should be silence to listen for what God has to say to us.  We need to listen not only to get to know the other person, but we need to listen, because that is what we have to do in order to communicate.  In order to know how we need to respond we have to listen, and hear what is said to us. Then and only then can we respond with a response that is one that will build the relationship. It may not always be what the other person wants to hear, but it will build the relationship if it is spoken in truth and love after listening and hearing what was said. If we listen and hear, then we will get to know more about the person and grow deeper in relation to them.

That is what Bonhoeffer tells us in the quote above.  We owe it to others to listen to them. We need to hear them and to love them by being quiet and not formulating a response while they are talking.  To hear them as we hear His word.

So the next time you are listening, listen and hear. Grow in relation to others.

 

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