Something to Crow About

All of the Gospels speak of Peter affirming his steadfast allegiance to Jesus. Peter stands out as one who goes from listening to Jesus speak of His betrayal and crucifixion, to going with his brother James and his mother and asking to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus in His kingdom. (Matthew 20:21) When Jesus asks if they are able to drink of the cup that He will drink and be baptized with, they answer in the affirmative. Peter had previously heard Jesus speak of His coming death and resurrection, and in Matthew 16:22-23, Peter rebuked Jesus for what He was saying. He became an unwitting tool of the enemy and received a harsh rebuke from Jesus saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Peter still is not seeing all that lies ahead. When Jesus speaks in Matthew 26:31-35 that all will stumble because of His upcoming death, Peter responds “Even if all are made to stumble because of you, I will never be made to stumble.” Jesus responds by saying, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Yet Peter held fast to what he thought.

How many roosters do you think were in Jerusalem that day Jesus was crucified? Only one? No, there were so many in that immediate area. But one rooster was selected by the Lord to sound a clarion call that all would hear, but for one above all else to register with, Peter. Throughout the bible, the Lord has used animals for specific purposes and not once did they refuse, not hear, or not complete the task. From the large fish the Lord sent to swallow Jonah and keep in its belly for three days and nights. (Jonah 1:17) A foreshadowing of Jesus in the tomb from death to resurrection. To the donkey that speaks to Balaam in Numbers 22. To the innumerable quail sent to feed the Israelites in Exodus 16. To ravens directed by the Lord to bring bread and meat to feed Elijah in the desert in 1 Kings 17. To the donkey that had never been ridden waiting for Jesus to ride him into Jerusalem in Matthew 21. There are so many other instances of the immediate obedience of His animal kingdom. But this crowing of the rooster cut to the quick of Peter’s heart. In Matthew 26, Peter had denied he knew Jesus three times. But when that rooster crowed, he remembered the words Jesus said to him about denying Him three times. Then his conscience was pricked. Peter left the area and wept bitterly.

Peter rebuked Jesus because he couldn’t reconcile his version of the conquering Messiah with what Jesus was trying to reveal to him. Peter was not setting his mind on the things of God, but on his own ways, plans, and purposes. He had set his mind on earthly things and values. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” We too often have a partial view of something and act on it as if we know the whole picture. Peter did that. Yet, His blessings and mercy are new each day. Jesus knew how demoralized and crushed Peter was, and after His resurrection His angel told the women by the tomb to tell His disciples – and Peter – that Jesus is going before them into Galilee and there you will see Him. How many times have we been in a position of feeling abandoned and crushed? Believing He has left you only to find His comforting embrace through His presence or scripture or one He has sent to speak directly to you. I can personally attest to this, and this morning I experienced it again.

That rooster had a divine purpose. It superseded that of every other rooster in Jerusalem. Many on this earth today have been giving things to say that are truly from the Lord. Lamentations 3:37 says, “Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass, when the Lord has not commanded it?” Yet so many presume to speak for the Lord things of their own makings. They do not examine their ways but look for things that are self-aggrandizing. They love the acclaim of others and the accompanying riches that come with it. They hear a voice that does not line up with God and crow from the rooftops. Shepherds have become dull of hearing in their pursuit of folly, yet still speak to their congregants as if they speak for Him. All the while they have become tools of the enemy. When calamity strikes, their flocks will scatter. We are told to set our minds on things above not on earthly things. Yet somehow so many in positions to speak what they say is from God align themselves with political things. Following after that which has no place in Him. Following a man-made gospel whose end is death. Turn from these false teachings. Where you see your fellow man downtrodden and spoken ill of, realize those that do this worship another god. When racism and anti-semitism get a pass from those who seek to lead or speak for the Lord, walk from them. When you see history that should be repented of and healed being white washed, realize the enemy is at work to bring hatred into your midst. Psalm 5 speaks of God taking no pleasure in wickedness. He hates all workers of iniquity and will destroy those who speak falsehood. He abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. Yet still everywhere one can hear the cacophony of incessant nails on a blackboard masquerading as His word or direction. They should have no part in you. Listen to that one rooster who had something from the Father to crow about. He had given His son to be crucified, that through His death, we might have life. Heed the words Paul spoke in Ephesians 4:29. “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth but only such a word that is good for edification, according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” He is risen! Blessings.