‘Love’ and Discipleship in the Gospel of John

Here’s a question for you: Does the use of “love” in John match the use of “hate” in Luke?

That is far too broad (and probably inaccurate) a question to ask. My question is specifically about John 21:15-17, in which Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?”

As explored in my last post, in Luke 14:26 μισέω (“hate”) is used as a term of renunciation, renouncing one’s family as the foundation of security, belonging, and living and taking on Jesus as that foundation instead. In this sense, to hate my family means not that I harbor psychological hostility toward it, but that I no longer belong to/with my family, but belong to/with Jesus.

With this in mind, my question is: Since “love” is usually regarded as the opposite of “hate,” does Jesus’ question in John 17 have anything to do with the call to discipleship? Is this three-fold question of love a way of reinstating Peter as a disciple after he denied Jesus three-fold? Does “love” in this context mean the opposite of what “hate” means in Luke 14? In other words, does “love” in John 17 mean “proclamation of loyalty and belonging” while “hate” in Luke 14 means “renunciation of loyalty and belonging”?

I’ll be barking up this tree for the next week or so. Stay tuned.


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Filed under Theology, Two Year GNT

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