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Strasburg, VA 22657



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"Yes, Lord; You know that I love You."

In John 21:15, Jesus asked Peter, "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?" Peter answered, "Yes, Lord; You Know That I Love You." Jesus asked the question using the verb, "agapao {ag-ap-ah'-o}," to love. But Peter answers with the verb, phileo {fil-eh'-o}. William Edwy Vine writes " to be distinguished from agapao in this, that phileo more nearly represents 'tender affection.'"
Jesus asked the question of Peter a second time. Peter gave him the same answer (John 21:16).

"Lord, You Know All Things; You Know That I Love You."

Jesus asked the question of Peter a third time (John 15:17). That time, however, He used the same Greek word used in Peter's first two answers, agapao. The third repetition of the question grieved Peter and he answered, "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee" (John 21:17).
Vine writes:
Agape and agapao are used in the NT (a) to describe the attitude of God toward His Son, John 17:26 ; the human race, generally, John 3:16 ; Romans 5:8 ; and to such as believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, particularly, John 14:21 ; (b) to convey His will to His children concerning their attitude one toward another, John 13:34 , and toward all men, 1 Thessalonians 3:12 ; 1 Corinthians 16:14 ; 2 Peter 1:7 ; (c) to express the essential nature of God, 1 John 4:8.
Notice that the number of Jesus' questions and the number of Peter's confessions equal the number of his denials - three (Matt. 26:69-75; Mark 14:66-72; Luke 22:56-62; John 18:25-27). Coffman writes:
Grievous as this was for Peter, it wiped out all guilt of his denials; and the Saviour's total forgiveness is implicit in the threefold charge to care for the church Jesus came to establish. The external situation associated with this triple confession of love inevitably called to mind the denials. There were three of each; the charcoal fire was at both events; the day was breaking on both occasions; and there had to have been another cockcrow, although the latter is not mentioned.

"Feed My Sheep"

After each of the three confessions by Peter, Jesus responded with a command.
When Peter answered Jesus' first question, "Do you love me?" with, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." Jesus responded, "Feed My lambs" (John 21:15). After Peter's second answer, The Lord responded, "Feed my sheep" (John 21:16). Then, after the third response, Jesus returns to the first command, "Feed my lambs" (John 21:17).
Actually, Jesus uses two different Greek words to respond to the first two confessions, then returns to the first word in His third response. The word translated, feed, in John 21:15, 17, means, according to Vine, "To feed," is primarily used of a herdsman (from boo, "to nourish," the special function being to provide food." The word also translated, feed in John 21:16, means "To act as a shepherd, according to Vine (Same reference as previous). Vine adds the following note:
...the Lord, addressing Peter, first uses No. 1, bosko (ver. 15), then No. 2, poimaino (ver. 16), and then returns to bosko (ver. 17). These are not simply interchangeable (nor are other variations in His remarks); a study of the above notes will show this. Nor, again, is there a progression of ideas. The lesson to be learnt, as Trench points out
(Continued on page 3).

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Sunday Bible Study: 9:30
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(Singing at Greenfield Senior Living, 14 Maynard Ln., (540) 298-6835, even-number months, 6:30 pm.)
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Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God
Thomas B. Warren Affirms God's Existence; Anthony G.N. Flew Denies
September 20-23, 1976

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