Following the resurrection of Jesus, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me? Jesus used the Greek work, agape. Peter responded three times with the word, phileo. “Yes Lord, you know that I love (phileo) you.” Agape is to love someone without conditions attached to that love. The word that Peter used is a love between brothers, sisters, and friends. The word for the city Philadelphia means brotherly love. The foundation word is phileo.
Jesus responded three time to Peter, “Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, and feed my sheep.” Agape love calls us to tend and feed. Tending and feeding is more than food and drink. So to be the church of Christ, we are all called to tend and feed. Our calling as Christians is to be doing what Jesus was doing.
Our calling is to share the good news that we are all unconditionally loved by God in Christ. We are also called to demonstrate that love through tending and feeding not only to the people we know but also the people we don’t know. Healing ministry is part of the tending and feeding. One third of each of the gospels talks about healing. Christian faith is the Christ ministering through us bringing wholeness to others as we tend and feed one another. “So faith, hope, love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love.(agape)” I Cor. 13:13
The Rev. Russ Brandt, Author