In our last visit we discovered that Jesus probed into the heart of Peter until his answers were authentic. When He asked Peter if he had a fond affection for Him Peter humbly replied, “Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you, that is, have a fond affection for you.”
He was not ready to boast about his love for Jesus. He was honest, but authentically committed. When Jesus exposed his true heart He affirmed him by assigning him the responsibility to “feed my sheep.” Even though Peter could only honestly say he had a fond affection for him he was told to “feed my lambs.” Then, “take care of my sheep.” Finally, “feed my sheep.”
All Jesus required was to humbly “Follow me!” Peter was ready to do that, but then he wanted to know what Jesus was requiring of other disciples. Jesus made it clear, that was none of his business. Jesus’ challenge was clear: “You must follow me.”
True, agape love is found only in intimate relationship. Peter would grow in his commitment and enabled to fulfill his assigned tasks only as he followed Jesus closely. He would be able to endure whatever the enemy threw at him as he followed Jesus closely.
A phileo, fond affection for Jesus was sufficient to get started, but to grow and become mature in his walk and work he would need to follow Jesus closely. This is essential for the development of an agape kind of love relationship with Jesus. This is what is required of all of us if we want our lives to count for Jesus.