Summary: A sermon on the Greek words for love, and how we must show godly love toward all.
True, Godly Love (John 21:15-17)
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."
16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep."
17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, 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, "Feed My sheep.
What is the meaning of love? What does love mean to you?
If I were to say "I love you" to Kay, it would mean something different than if I were to say "I love you" to Dave, or to Turtle, or to Matt.
I once heard a pastor ask a question, and I'll ask you the same question. Why do you think that God had the Bible written in the three languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek? Why didn't He just use some other language?
Here's the reason, especially with Greek. Greek is one of the most accurate, if not the most accurate languages on the face of the earth in describing by the words what is meant by the heart, by the mind, by the soul.
We see this in John 21, starting with verse 15.
Doesn't it sound like Jesus is being a pest here? Doesn't it sound like Jesus is asking Peter the same question over and over? Guess what? He's not. There is some differences that we can't see in the English language, but if we look to the Greek we can see them and see how powerful this entire section of scripture really is.
I) The Greek Words For Love
In the Greek language, there are four words for love. The first word is only seen in it's opposite form, and that word is stergein. It carries a meaning of a love that is a natural love, such as a father toward children, toward his wife because that's according to nature.
The second word is Eros, which is a word that describes what most people think of when the English word love is used. Love has been twisted in the last 100 years or so, and especially in the last 50.
Eros is a word of sensuality. It is expressed in the relationship between a man and a woman in physical terms. The ancient Greeks, in fact, had gods that personified this passion, Aphrodite and Eros, which we today know as Venus and Cupid. So if you think that Cupid is a little angel sent from God to fling arrows of love into men and women, you're sadly mistaken.
The intent of the word Eros is one of a physical attraction between a man and a woman, and is of course appropriate and beautiful when that man and woman enjoy Eros love in a godly married bond. But Eros love is only one of the types of love that should exist between a man and a woman; we will see that all three loves should exist.
The next word is "Phileo". What do you think of when you hear of "Phileo"? Philadelphia, the "city of brotherly love" and philharmonic, which means "friendly harmonies"--beautiful music.