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Summary: Power for ministry and daily life flows from our love for Jesus

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The Power of Loving Jesus

John 21:15-17

February 25, 2001

Morning Service

Introduction

A wealthy old man had just recently married a lovely young lady and was beginning to wonder whether she might have married him just for his money. He asked her, "If I lost all my money, would you still love me?" She said reassuringly, "Oh honey, don’t be silly. Of course I would still love you. And I would miss you terribly."

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 15:4-5

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

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.) Hammerstein Illustration

One evening before the great Broadway star, Mary Martin was to go on stage in the Musical South Pacific, a note was handed to her. It was from Oscar Hammerstein, who was on his death bed. The note simply read: “Dear Mary, A bell’s not a bell until you ring it. A song’s not a song until you sing it. Love in your heart is not put there to stay. Love isn’t love til you give it away.” After the performance Mary was rushed backstage and everyone was asking the same question, “We’ve never seen you perform that way before, what happened?” Mary read them Hammerstein’s note and said, “Tonight, I gave my love away.”

c.) Jesus is calling Peter to serve out of love

1.) ministry can only take place where love is genuine and real

2.) Peter would need the most love. He would lead by example

2. The ministry of Peter

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