In the gospel of John, we have a beautiful encounter of Jesus and Peter, where Jesus asks Peter the same question three times, “Do you love me?”. There are minor variations in the way question is asked each time, which is given different interpretations by scholars. A helpful interpretation is that Jesus was asking three times to make up for the three denials of Peter before the death of Jesus.
Today morning I came across this quote. It’s good to read the biblical passage through the lens of this image. Jesus' love for Peter was so much that he accepted Peter with all his weakness.
I was checking the Greek translation of the Bible passage. Greek has four words for love. Jesus' question has the word agape for love (which is the highest form of love according to the Bible); but all three responses of Peter has the word — philia (more brotherly love). Peter’s love possibly hasn’t yet reached the level of agape, and Peter was honest of it. But the tasks which Jesus is going to assign him, that of feeding or tending his sheep, needed an agapic love. Yet, Jesus is giving him the mandate, knowing fully the weakness of Peter or the growth Peter needs to make, but also sure of his potential. Love sees strength hidden in the weakness. Love sees potential/healing hidden in the brokenness.
This is the invitation of Pentecost.