God Given Love

A reading for Monday, October 19, 2015: John 15:9-17.

There are three Greek words for love in the New Testament: Eros, Philos, and Agape.

Eros is romantic love. It is the love shared between two people, each expecting something of love in return. It is physical love. It is marriage love, in which each person gives themselves to the other freely and without hesitation.

Philos is brotherly love. The city of Philadelphia gets its name from this word. This kind of love is characterized as feelings of humanity and compassion toward one's fellow humans. This kind of love is the basis for charity and community service from one person to the other. When we see suffering, our philos love calls us to intervene.

Lastly, agape love is the highest order of love. Agape love is selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional love. It does not require anything in return. Agape love is beyond just feelings of charity or pity towards another. It is the love Jesus commands the disciples to exercise with one another, just as Jesus himself has loved them in this way. Agape love is the same love as the Father has for the Son and the Son for the Father. This is the same love Jesus showed in sacrificing himself for the sins of the world. Jesus loves us in this way.

Each of these is good and God-given for a reason, but agape love is what we aspire to as those that follow Jesus...

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."


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