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Scripture: John 21:1-19
Sermon: Do You Love Me?
Sermon Theme: In ancient India, the architects of the Sanskrit language came up with almost 100 different
words to describe various states of romance, affection and desire. The ancient Greeks had a catalogue of at least six concepts to choose from, and the Arabs defined different forms of love through a spectrum of eleven stages.
Yet the emotionally-stunted English tradition has left us with just one catch-all term—”love”—to describe our feelings toward our family, romantic partner, friends, activities, and items.
The three questions and affirmations mirror Peter’s three denials. Jesus invited Peter to reaffirm everything he had denied. The Greek term translated love in Jesus’ first two questions (agapaō) is different from the word in his third question (phileō). In each case, Peter answered with the second word (phileō).
How would you respond if Jesus asked you, “Do you love me? Do you really love me? Are you even my friend?”
Each time Peter told Jesus, “I love you,” Jesus exhorted Peter lo care for his flock: “Feed my lambs”; take care of my sheep”; “Feed my sheep”. It is one thing to say you love Jesus, but the real test is willingness to serve him.