< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Mark 14:66-72 The Rooster Crows

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Mark 14:66-72 The Rooster Crows

Mark 14:66-72 66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him.

“You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.

68 But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.

69 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” 70 Again he denied it.

After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”

71 He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”

72 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

This passage starts out at Annas’ house. He’s the high priest. His house would have had a large courtyard and it would have been gated. We know John got through the gate because he knew someone; possibly the gatekeeper. But Peter only made it as far as the courtyard.

This is a sad story of a man who denies Jesus. But it’s also a story about how God knew it would happen. Jesus prophesized about it before hand. And later we’ll see that He restores Peter.

For three years Peter had been taking steps of faith forward and it seems just as many steps backward. When he stepped out of the boat that time when Jesus was walking on water, it was a huge step of faith. But then he took his eyes off Christ and began to sink. Another time when Jesus was telling the disciples what was going to happen in Jerusalem Peter said basically “this must never happen!” And Jesus rebuked him saying “Get behind me, Satan!” He did many impulsive things. But his denying he even knew Jesus was his lowest point.

But Jesus has a plan for losers. His grace is profound. His grace is amazing! Christ will meet us at any point of our life. Do not resist His grace. Receive it through repentance.

During Peter’s first and second denials he started to back away from the courtyard to the porch (or gate area) and the girl who was accusing him kind of went after him. The third accusation happened about an hour later at the home of Caiaphas. This is verse 70 where the people standing near Peter said, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”

A Galilean’s speech might sound a little different. They might dress a little different. And they knew Jesus was a Galilean.

This time Peter actually cursed in a panic of self preservation.

And in verse 72 the rooster crowed. The sound pierces Peter’s heart and wakes him up to what is happening. He remembers himself saying to Jesus that “no matter if everyone leaves You – I won’t!” And six hours later he had denied Jesus three times. And Jesus had told him he would!

The rooster’s crow was a warning. Our warning could be financial ruin, a lost job, some kind of trial. Something that should stop us in our tracks and get us to stop doing something we’re doing. When it happens the right thing to do is recognize what you’ve done, repent and get your eyes back on Christ.

When Peter realized what he’d done he began to weep. We see his repentance here. He knew everything Jesus had ever done for him and he saw at this moment what he had just done to Jesus.

We do things to Jesus too. We deny Him. And when we do the Holy Spirit produces sorrow in us.

Luke 22:61 says when the cock crowed Jesus turned and looked at Peter. In spite of all of the stuff that was happening to Jesus (and He wouldn’t have been able to hear Peter’s words – He wasn’t close enough) –  Jesus knew. He knows everything. And can you imagine the look Jesus gave him? It wouldn’t have been a look of “I told you so.” Or a look of anger or condemnation. It was a look of kindness and love. Of grace. The look that says I know everything about you and I love you. I’m willing to restore you.

Jesus forgives! Jesus pursues us! God doesn’t bring us to Himself through fear or warnings of judgment. God brings us to Himself by His great love!

2 Timothy 2:13 says that if we are faithless He is faithful. Our salvation isn’t based on our works or getting it all right. HE is faithful. At one point Jesus had told Peter that Satan had asked to sift Peter and Jesus wouldn’t let him. Peter was His! And Jesus will not lose one of His own!

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