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Summary: Wouldn’t it be great if we had a warning signal before we said something or before we did something? How can we hear the rooster BEFORE it crows?

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Hearing the Rooster Before it Crows

By Rev. Dan Mahan

Luke 22:60 But Peter said, "I don’t know what you are talking about." And as soon as he said these words, the rooster crowed.

There’s a commercial I really like on television. Have you seen it? It’s a Chevy commercial. The sun is rising and the rooster jumps on the fence rail to do its morning duty. However, when it opens its beak to crow, no arousing “Cock-a-doodle-doo” comes out. Instead, a weak squawk is what pops out of his mouth. The rooster tries several times, but to no avail. It reminds me of your pastor during sermons sometimes. I open my mouth to boldly proclaim His word, and there’s no voice! I know how it feels to lose your voice during important duties! It’s panic-time for the rooster. He starts looking around frantically. Finally, he spies something across the barnyard. He scurries over and flies into the open window of a Chevy Monte Carlo. Then he starts pounding his beak against the car horn—waking up the neighborhood to the sound of honking instead of crowing.

In society today, you see warnings everywhere you look. You find warnings on medicine bottles, food labels and on cigarette packages. We have traffic warnings. You see warnings on television ads. Have you ever noticed how the ads for prescriptions drugs have more words warning about the product than words promoting its benefits and uses!. We even have warnings on cups of coffee we buy at fast food places, letting us know—because some apparently do not realize it-that the hot coffee you are drinking is indeed “HOT”! The Christian comedian Mark Lowry says that he wishes that all mothers had warning lights on the back of their heads, that starts blinking 5 seconds before mom has “had enough”. He said you can make a lot of tracks in 5 seconds.

These warnings tell us what to do and what not to do. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a warning signal before we said something or before we did something. Don’t you wish at times that you had a warning light telling you “don’t say that” or “don’t do that” BEFORE you did say or do it.

I wonder if Peter felt that way after he had denied Jesus. Before Christ’s death, Peter vowed; “Lord, I will die for you!” But Jesus’ answer to Peter was a warning, found in Luke 22: 34: “Peter, let me tell you something. The rooster will not crow tomorrow morning until you have denied three times that you even know me.” Now, it is amazing to me that Peter, the man of questions before, had none for Christ that day. Peter did not ask, “How? What do you mean, Jesus? What can I do to prevent it?” No, Peter’s only response was “I will die first, Lord before I would do that.” Now, Peter had been around Jesus for 3 years. He saw the miracles Jesus had performed. He saw the power that Jesus had over illnesses, nature, demons, even death. He had been there when Jesus had read people’s minds, told them what they were thinking. He had heard Jesus pronounce what would happen in the future. Peter himself had proclaimed in Matt 16:16. “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” You would think Peter would realize Jesus knew what he was talking about. You would think Peter would have taken Jesus’ warning more seriously than what he appeared to have done. “Take heed. Watch out, Peter.” But Christ’s words of warning to Peter went unheeded.

After Jesus’ arrest; Peter followed the crowd from the garden to the house of Calaphas, the high priest. Jesus was brought inside. But in the courtyard outside, we find solders, servants, and the religious leaders. There were passersby like Peter, waiting to see what would happen to this man Jesus. Peter was admitted through the gate. It was dark, perhaps he thought no one would recognize him in the darkness. Peter knew that he was in enemy territory, but he thought the darkness would protect him. He walks past servant-girls to stand by a fire in courtyard to get warm. But suddenly one servant girl exclaims “YOU were with him”. Peter was shocked. Somehow she had connected him to Jesus. The accusation by the servant girl was unexpected. Peter was totally unprepared. He used the same old dodge that are kids often use when we address them about something they have done:“ I don’t know what you’re talking about” “No, it wasn’t me. I don’t know who it was.” Repeatedly when I asked my kids who had done something, I would get the line “I don’t know.” I use to tell my children “if I eve got my hands on “I don’t know”, he is not going to be able to sit down for a week!”.

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