A rooster crowed (05-04-23)
Psalm of Praise: Psalms 119:73-74
Your hands made me and formed me;
give me understanding to learn your commands.
May those who fear you rejoice when they see me,
for I have put my hope in your word.
Bible Reading: Matthew 26:69-74
Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him.
"You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. But he denied it before them all.
"I don't know what you're talking about," he said.
Then he went out to the gateway, where another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, "This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth."
He denied it again, with an oath: "I don't know the man!"
After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter and said,
"Surely you are one of them; your accent gives you away."
Then he began to call down curses, and he swore to them, "I don't know the man!"
Immediately a rooster crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken:
"Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."
And he went outside and wept bitterly.
We might want to criticise Peter for denying Jesus three times in the courtyard, especially after he said so confidently the night before that he would rather die than deny Jesus. That was said while he was with Jesus and the other disciples (and after he had had a drink of wine). Now it’s the morning after and he is on his own.
But I wonder how I would have responded. Would I have done any different at the time?
I may not have categorically denied Jesus like Peter did, nor run away like the other disciples did, but the truth is there are times when we all deny that we are followers of Jesus, either by what we say or don’t say or by what we do or don’t do. And sometimes, when we face challenges, our faith wavers and our commitment diminishes.
And then the rooster crowed.
Like Peter, we can all end up in an emotionally bad place when we realise our failings. Like Peter too, the Risen Jesus comes to us to restore us, not three days later, but as soon as we turn back to him.
Maybe there are people you know today, young or old, who have turned away from faith in Jesus. If there are, take time now to name them before Jesus and to pray that their love for him would be renewed and their faith in him restored.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for the times I deny you by my words and by my actions.
Restore me with your love and fill me with you Spirit so that I remain faithful to you each day.
His mercy is more