Summary: A rooster in our choir may be preaching the better message.
There are warning signs are all around us. Sometimes we heed the warnings, sometimes we ignore the warnings. Sometimes the warnings seem a little silly to us, if we are reasonable people.
After a woman sued McDonalds because she wasn’t warned her coffee was hot, companies are changing their instruction manuals and product warning labels to cover themselves from liability. Listen to a few of these:
On a particular brand of soap- Directions: Use like regular soap
On a frozen TV dinner - Suggestion: Defrost before eating
A Christmas pudding - Product will be hot after heating
On a chain saw- Do not stop chain with hand
On a motorcycle helmet mounted mirror - Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you;
The second hearing of Jesus’ trials came to a close with a guilty verdict.
Mar 14:64-72 You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?" And they all condemned him as deserving death. 65 And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, "Prophesy!" And the guards received him with blows. 66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, "You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus." 68 But he denied it, saying, "I neither know nor understand what you mean." And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, "This man is one of them." 70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, "Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean." 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, "I do not know this man of whom you speak." 72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." And he broke down and wept.
Of all the stories in the Bible, I find this story to be one of the most dramatic.
I. A Rising Star
If any of the disciples had promise, a rising star for the good guys, it was Peter. It was Peter who had the nerve to get out of the boat when Jesus was walking on water. It was Peter who had the nerve to say, “Jesus, you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends during his ministry years.
He was one of, if not THE, leader of the other disciples. He went with Jesus, along with James and John, to see Jarius’ daughter brought back to life. He was one of the three that saw Jesus transfigured temporarily with His glory in the presence of two dead saints: Moses and Elijah. Jesus healed his mother-in-law.
He was one of the men sent to prepare for the Passover meal, the Last Supper. He was one of three that was the closest to Jesus during his agonizing prayer in Gethsemene. He even drew a sword and tried to defend Jesus upon His arrest, cutting off Malchus’ ear.
Of all the disciples, Peter was an all-star. He is the one we would have put on our top list of deacon candidates. He is the one we want to teach our Sunday school class. We want him to run for mayor, or the senate, or president.
II. A Record Spoiled.
But in this moment, his faith collapses and he fell hard, very hard. At this time, we not only see Peter fall hard, but we jump on the pile. Let me assure you, during this sermon, it will look like I jump on the bandwagon of criticizing Peter.
And I am sure, in heaven today, he would agree by saying, “Well, I asked for that.”
I want us to consider a few lessons from this story that God has chosen for us to analyze. There are always warning signs before our biggest tests.
A. Peter tried to correct Jesus (Mark 8:31-33)
And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."
We are stepping towards a failed test when we think we are so spiritual, we need to be advising God.Pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.