In the 21st chapter of John we find Jesus asking Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” At first glance Peter basically says yes, but the biblical scholars in the crowd know he is not using the same word that Jesus does.
Jesus askes Peter (do you AGAPE me?)Twice Jesus uses the word Agape, but Peter answers (yes I PHIELO you). You can think of AGAPE love as the highest, unconditional, most altruistic form of love their is. While PHLIELO love is a brotherly love. Hence Philidelphia, The city of brotherly love.
It’s the third time around I want to focus on today. Jesus meets Peter where he is and asks, “Simon, son of John, do you PHILEO me?” A broken Peter answers “Lord, you know everything; you know that I PHILEO you.”
I want to discuss the first part of Peter’s answer. “Lord, you know everything.” I believe Peter is truly broken here, and will not let his former impulsiveness get the best of him. Lets face it. Peter has said and done some pretty ridiculous things in the past. Not only has denied Christ three times when he promised to follow Jesus until the bitter end. He chops off an ear, tells Jesus not to wash his feet, and then decides to go for a (Full Monty) sponge bath. As Jesus pushes the visual image of giving a grown man a bath He informs Peter that washing his feet will do just fine.
“Lord, you know everything.” This realization in the heart of Peter allows him to be honest with Jesus. He is not going to tell Christ my love for you is a 10 out of 10, when it’s only a 7. Peter takes the giant leap that many Christians refuse to allow themselves to take. He can be fully honest with Christ even if it means swallowing his pride. Do not be afraid to be honest with God. remember Peter’s words “Lord, you know everything.” For Peter, this new inward boldness sparks a new and sincere outward boldness that catapults him to the forefront of leadership in the first century church.
What new boldness inside of you is waiting to be poured out? Be honest and sincere with Christ. After all, “Lord, you know everything.”