June 29, 2006

Big Caesar

Chris “CaesarMagnus” is a regular visitor to my blog. He has now started up his own, "The Roman Sacristan".

He has invoked my name on his blog now, and so, lest it be in vain, I will hereby dovetail onto what he posted.

Although Chris cites Latin words in that post, it is the Gospel’s original Greek words that are necessary for understanding what Jesus is asking versus what Simon (Peter) is offering.

JOHN 10:11-15
Jesus says:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd … and I lay down my life for the sheep.
That was the last time Jesus spoke of shepherding before his death and resurrection. The apostle Peter heard those words. Later, in the garden of Gethsemane, Peter saw “the wolf coming” and Peter ran away.

After the resurrection of Jesus, the first time Jesus speaks of shepherding is in John 21, where he uses the Greek word agápe— but Simon (Peter) uses a different word, philía.

The New Testament uses the Greek word agápe in a consistent manner. “God is agápe”— the kind of “love” that defies emotional feelings, the kind of love we are to exercise towards God and neighbor no matter what our emotional feelings are, the kind of love that chooses to obey and persevere no matter what our feelings may be. Agápe is the kind of love a shepherd is fulling when he lays down his life for his sheep.

The Greek word philía is an emotional kind of love: friendly feelings, pleasure, affection.

Here is what happens in John 21 between Jesus and Simon (Peter). [Click on the chart to see a larger version.]

Simon’s philía ran away and hid.

The agápe of Jesus glorifies the Father and feeds the flock, even in the face of agony and death.

Now, what does CaesarMagnus the Roman Sacristan have to say? You’ll have to visit his blog to find out.
Click HERE for it.


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