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?
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!”.
I wonder if Peter thought “well, that’s one. I need to watch it! I’ll try to do better.” No, apparently, it didn’t even register with him that he had one strike against him. Peter turned to leave, when a second servant girl yells “he’s one of them.” “I don’t know the man”, Peter responds. Peter is in trouble. He is in the wrong place at the wrong time. He is under enemy fire, but yet he stays. Peter hangs around. Sometime later, Jesus’ interview is over and they are moving him to another location. As they do so, a more hostile voice exclaims “Didn’t I see you in the olive grove?” Now, John tells us in his gospel, John 18: 10,that it was Peter that drew the sword and cut off the ear of the high Priest’s servant. Peter was not some bystander in the darkness during Jesus arrest. He made this bold act and yet when accused of being in the olive grove, he says, “Uh-huh, it wasn’t me. “ Peter began to curse, “I don’t know him, leave me alone”. As the “foul” words came out of Peter’s mouth, another “fowl” sound could be heard—the sound of a rooster crowing. And Luke tells us that when it crowed, Jesus turned to look at Peter, as if to say “Peter I warned you this would happen and you didn’t believe me.” Peter wept bitterly. Peter heard the rooster crow and I am sure that it was a sound that he would always remember. In Galilee in those days, people had roosters. All of his life, Peter had heard the sound of roosters crowing. It was a familiar sound to him-as familiar as an alarm clock buzzer to us. Peter had heard this sound thousands of times. But it was this one rooster, this one time, that would be the crow he would always remember. Poor Peter. I am sure this sound haunted him the rest of his life.
The time to hear the rooster is before it crows. I wish I had a warning every morning that would tell me “Today you need to……….or need not to…” “Today, beware of this……..or that.” “Avoid this today……” “Today this is going to happen. so be prepared to do the right thing.” “Today you will be tempted to do this. Watch out for the rooster crow.”