The Truth about Gods’ Agape Love

Posted: May 20, 2010 in Blessings, Christian Beliefs, The Bible

The Lesson of Agape Love Learned through Simon-Peter

Simon-Peter was perhaps my favorite of the 12 Disciples. He had an unbounded joy and a eagerness to do whatever it took to please Jesus. He was always saying profound things only to trip himself up moments later but it was clear that our Lord Jesus loved him greatly. Today we’re going to simply look at a few passages of interplay featuring Jesus and Peter and see what we can learn from them today.

At the Last Supper

The more things changed the more they stayed the same. Not long after Jesus Christ had changed the Passover into a Remembrance Service for His upcoming Crucifixion the disciples had gotten into an argument over who was greatest. I’m quite certain Jesus had a wry smile on His face as He set them straight with His last bit of fresh teaching on the Kingdom.

Then He had the following exchange with Simon-Peter:

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat;32 but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”33 But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!”34 And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”

Luke 22:31-34 (NASB)

If you look carefully at the first verse you’ll notice that just like in the Book of Job Satan had to ask, or in this case demand permission to test someone who was loyal to Jesus Christ. That’s of course because God is Sovereign and He needs to be asked before even Satan can have such access to a believer. You’ll notice also that this test is described as a sifting of wheat; people still sift wheat to sort the good from the bad.

In the second verse it is most remarkable that we find that Jesus has prayed for Simon-Peter that His faith would not fail. Jesus knew just how tough it would be for Simon-Peter, just as He knows how tough life can be today for modern Christians as we share our beliefs. Sometimes our faith seems to be running on empty, and sometimes Satan can convince us that Jesus doesn’t care or the Holy Spirit has left us, I’m sure at those times Jesus prays for us to be strengthened, to ensure our faith and empower our spiritual recovery.

Notice Jesus goes on to say and you once you’ve turned back strengthen your other disciples. He’s saying that He knows Simon-Peter will fail, but that he’ll turn back and end up bolstering the faith of his brothers in Christ.

Simon-Peter doesn’t miss that and he responds in typical flamboyant fashion: “No way, I’m willing to go with you to prison even unto death!”

Sometimes we feel assured or puffed up in our faith, we are so certain of ourselves that we go charging full speed ahead, certain we can face anything for Christ who we love.

I’m sure Jesus chuckled on the inside before he dropped the bombshell: “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”

I’m sure Simon-Peter denied that if only to himself, he was totally certain he would not fail His Lord.

The House of the High Priest

Later that same day this is what happened:

54Having arrested Him, they led Him away and brought Him to the house of the high priest; but Peter was following at a distance.55 After they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter was sitting among them.56 And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.”57 But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.”58 A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!”59 After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.”60 But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed.61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.”62 And he went out and wept bitterly.

Luke 22:54-62 (NASB)

This bittersweet moment was captured to perfection in The Passion of The Christ, and it gets me every time I watch it. Simon-Peter is the bravest of the disciples the only one to sneak in to be close to the proceedings in the night. He probably struck up conversation and if so his accent would have given him away. First a servant girl confronts him, and he denies knowing Jesus.

Moving off he tries to find a spot of shadows and seclusion where he can still overhear perhaps the things that are happening to Jesus. This time a man accuses him of being one of Jesus’ followers, and Simon-Peter denies it even more vigorously.

After making his way to another secluded part of the compound he fails to notice a Rooster that shouldn’t even be in that part of the city due to one of the myriad of obscure ordinances. An hour has passed and he as accosted again by another man, getting in his face in challenge making a good case for Simon-Peter being a follower of Jesus. He responded back in the negative, emphatically denying that He knew Jesus at all.

And that Rooster crowed, through the crowds of people Jesus and Simon-Peter locked eyes as the words rushed through the disciples head: “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” Simon-Peter ran off weeping bitterly into the night thinking that he had totally failed his master.

Sometimes our pride gets in the way of our service to others we are trying to reach. You are determined that you are going to share something with this person whether the Holy Spirit leads you to or not. It will never be as bad as Simon-Peters mistake, and don’t forget that Jesus knew that Simon-Peter would return and strengthen the other disciples just as they would strengthen him.

If we can just remember that we’re letting the Holy Spirit, God’s Love, shine out of us it will always strengthen our service.

A Message from a “Young Boy”

6 And he said* to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.7 “But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’ ”

Mark 16:6-7 (NASB) (Bold Mine)

It’s Resurrection Sunday Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome have gone to the tomb to anoint the body with perfume. Of course since Jesus has arisen as He promised He would they instead find a Young Boy, an Angel who gives them a message. And would you look at that, he tells them to tell the disciples and Peter!

Can you imagine how overjoyed Simon-Peter must have felt when he got that message! Jesus is not only ALIVE but the one I denied is willing to talk to me!

Of course it was much bigger than that, during the next month Jesus in his Resurrection Body visited the disciples a number of times. The last time was for breakfast on the beach of the Sea of Galilee, and this is where we get our last section of scriptures.

Breakfast Confirmation

15 So 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.” He said* to him, “Tend My lambs.”16 He said* to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said* to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said* to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”17 He said* to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said* to him, “Tend My sheep.” John 21:15-17 (NASB)

Three times Jesus asks gently of Simon-Peter if he loves him.

The first time it’s: “Simon, do you love me more than the other disciples?”

To which Simon-Peter responds: “Yes Lord, you know I love you.”

Jesus responds: “Then look after the lambs.”

The second time it’s: “Simon, Son of John, do you love me?”

To which Simon-Peter responds: “Yes Lord, I absolutely love you.”

Jesus Responds: “Then shepherd the sheep.”

The final time it’s: “Simon, son of John do you (unconditionally) love me?”

Simon-Peter is rather anxious now and he answers with passion: “Lord, you know all things and you do know that I love you!”

 Jesus responds: “Tend my sheep.”

There are two types of love in this passage there is phileo love, which is brotherly love, and then there is agape love, which is unconditional love. God is Love the Bible says; the Holy Spirit is God in Us. I believe this means that we have the ability to let God’s unconditional Agape love Bless others.

In the above passage Jesus is making certain that Simon-Peter knows that he is right on track. His assurance is that not only will Simon-Peter’s brotherly love remain intact but he will also have a powerful source of unconditional love also for everyone he encounters.

God’s agape love is amazing check this definition out:

It’s giving of love with no expectancy of getting any back; it’s a selfless love, a complete outpouring of compassion. God loves everyone at all times no strings attached; if you never love Him back he doesn’t care He loves you just the same. And just like His nature His love is the same yesterday, today and forever.

To Those that Feel Unloved…You ARE Unconditionally Loved!

God loves you so much, since he created you this shouldn’t come as a shock, but he sent his Son: 16 “For God so loved (Agape = Unconditional) the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

If you fail to return that unconditional love before you die by repenting and asking for forgiveness, then your creator God will be separated from you forever.

Some of you reading this right now have probably gotten to a point where you think that there’s no way that anyone could love you.

I’m here to set things straight, that is a vicious lie of Satan.

 It doesn’t matter who’s saying that too you, whether it’s so called friends or voices in your head, it’s a LIE.

 There is someone who loves you, and that someone AGAPES you, your Creator and God loves you with no strings attached. And since he’s the same yesterday, today and forever that unconditional love will flow forever.

 If you want to start a relationship with a Creator who will unconditionally love you I invite you to say this prayer. You don’t even have to say it out loud if you don’t want to, just read it or think it, God will know you’ve chosen to do it.

 Father in Heaven,

I am tired of being unloved, I feel I am in such a hopeless situation, and no one in the world seems to care about me. But you are not of this world, you created this world, and I believe you created me.

I have read about your Agape (Ah-Gap-eh) Love and I really need to experience that. I know that I’ve done nothing to deserve this Love; in fact I’m a sinner just like every other human you created. But I believe you sent your Only Son to die on Calvary to take away all of My Sins including those I haven’t even committed. I have faith that His death covered my Sins and put them as far as the East is from the West. They are forgotten forever.

I know I am promised that I will now be a new creation, I will not look different on the outside, but I will be filled and sealed with the Holy Spirit. Your Agape Love will be a part of me forever, and I thank you so much for these promises. God I thank you for taking me back, I’m sorry I took so long to find you.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Welcome to the family!

God bless you for starting this journey, you now have eternal life. You should get a Bible, and get reading, start building a relationship with God that draws you closer to Him every day. Talk to Christians you know, try going to church with them and pray often, and keep checking in here. I love sharing the life changing words of The Bible and you’ll find more here to help you on your way.

In Christ,

Ross

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