Monday, November 27, 2006
I visited another church, and found my Scofield Bible had much more piercing spiritual insight than the pastor. Others may know Peter thrice is asked "Do you love me?" by Christ after the resurrection. Scofield points out the first two times Christ asks if Peter "agape"'s Him. Agape is "that love which the law demands". Peter replies he "phileis"'s Christ. Christ asks if we love God with perfect divine love, and Peter replies he loves Christ passionately as his friend, but not perfectly as the Law calls for as he did before he denied Christ three times. When Peter replied he did not twice, the third time, Christ asks Peter if he phileis's Him and Peter replies “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love (phileis) You.” This was not Peter's frustration at being asked three times (as some have interpreted), but Christ condecending to our abilities, giving us grace as we cannot fullfil the command to love God perfectly and Peter being accepted by grace in his imperfect love. We are not accepted by Loving as the Law demands, but by our personal relationship with Christ as our Savior, as he stoops to conquer.