After looking at John, I’m finding my interest sparked now by Peter. We know Peter denied Christ three times, then in John 21, Jesus asks if Peter loves him three times. I love the symbolism here, and again, God brings more than one purpose to light.
Just as Peter denied Christ three time, Jesus gives Peter the chance to “choose” him three times thereby reaffirming Peter’s place in relationship to God’s kingdom and also to Christ himself.
If we dig a little deeper though into the Greek meaning behind the words, two different words are used for love.
The first time Christ asks Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” he uses agape, which portrays love as volitional (a choice) and self-sacrificing. Peter answers him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” But he uses phileo which means a brotherly type of love with common interests.
Read the rest at S.U.M.