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Summary: Jesus is calling the church and every believer to live out a life of radical love.

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A Radical Love

John 21:15-17

February 9, 2003

Morning Service

Introduction

Love-letter lament:

Dearest Jimmy,

No words could ever express the great unhappiness I’ve felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you’ll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you! Yours forever, Marie.

P.S., And congratulations on winning the state lottery.

Source Unknown..

A. The conditions we place on love

1. This humorous story reveals the reality of conditions on human love

2. We place conditions on our giving of love not the receiving

B. The unconditional love of Jesus

1. The love that Jesus gives to us is absolutely without condition – There is nothing we can do to lose His love and nothing that we can do to gain more of His love

2. Jesus asks a pointed question near the end of John’s gospel: “Do you love me?”

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Body

I. The Commitment to Jesus

A. The qualifiers of love

1. Background

a.) Jesus had already met with Peter in private – 1 Corinthians 15:3-5

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

b.) Jesus was affirming the leadership of Peter with the other apostles

2. Failure is not final

a.) Peter had indeed failed and failed miserably

1.) Peter made bold claims

Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."

Matthew 26:33

Peter asked, "Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." John 13:37

2.) Peter failed by denying Jesus

b.) Peter’s failure was not the end of his service for god and it was far from the end of God working in him

B. The qualities of love – 4 Greek terms

1. Eros:

a.) Definition: This love rises from infatuation or sexual desire

b.) Biblical implication: This term Is never used in the New Testament

2. Storge

a.) Definition: This love rises from natural affection and relates to family love

b.) Biblical implication: This term is used in the New Testament to describe a parent’s love for a child

3. Phileo

a.) Definition: This love rises from deep freindship or deep emotional affection

b.) Biblical implication: This term is used in the New Testament to describe personal relationships or “brotherly love”

4. Agape

a.) Definition: This love rises from God. It is a complete love that includes the mind, reason and will of a person. This type of love is primarily a product of choice

b.) Biblical implication: This term is used in the New Testament to describe God’s love and how Christians are to love one another and others

C. The question of love

1. Do you truly love me more than these?

a.) The point of Jesus – 3 Options

1.) Jesus could have been asking about the love that Peter had for his fellow apostles

2.) Jesus could have been asking if Peter loved Him more than any of the other apostles

3.) Jesus could have been asking if Peter loved Him more than the occupation of fishing

b.) What Jesus was trying to say

1.) The point is clear that there is indeed something creating a barrier in Peter’s relationship with Christ

2.) Jesus wanted to know if He was going to be the priority in Peter’s life

2. Do you truly love me?

a.) The point of Jesus

1.) Jesus is looking into the type of love Peter had for Him

2.) Jesus uses the word agape – A full and complete love

b.) The response of Peter

1.) Peter responds with Phileo – I love you like a brother

2.) Peter gives his response in basic human love

3. Do you love me?

a.) The point of Jesus

1.) Jesus is examining the genuineness of Peter’s love

2.) Jesus brought everything to the human level of love

b.) The response of Peter

1.) Peter was hurt by the continued questioning

2.) Peter was basically saying you know I love you like a brother

II. The Commission of Jesus

A. The requirement of love

1. Genuine love moves us to genuine ministry

a.) A Love for the Son

The story is told of a wealthy man who lost his wife when their only child was young. A housekeeper was hired to take care of the boy, who lived only into his teens. Heartbroken from this second loss, the father died a short time later. No will could be found; and since there were no relatives, it looked as if the state would get his fortune. The man’s personal belongings, including his mansion, were put up for sale. The old housekeeper had very little money, but there was one thing she wanted. It was a picture that had hung on a wall in the house -- a photo of the boy she had loved and nurtured. When the items were sold, nobody else wanted the picture, so she bought it for just a few pennies. Taking it home, she began to clean it and polish the glass. As she took it apart, a paper fell out. It was the man’s will, and in it he stated that all his wealth should go to the one who loved his son enough to buy that picture.

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