“And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.” (Matthew 26:73-74)
Have you ever heard a rooster crow? It is loud and undeniable ….
Maybe you heard one once when you were staying out in the country, or even in the urban center of a developing nation. Or maybe you grew up on a farm and heard it countless times. But what about in your heart? Have you ever heard the rooster crowing in your heart? Have you heard it ?? …..
Perhaps you heard it most recently in a work or social setting. Something was said, and you knew you were being prompted to speak from a position of loyalty and fidelity toward Jesus; but — you just sat there. Silent. Afraid of the consequences your allegiance to Him would bring …..
Perhaps it was at a gathering of extended family members, where you chose peace and quiet instead of speaking up in defense of your relationship with Him. The risk of complicating the mood of the room, of disturbing the lighthearted laughter around the table, that seemed greater in that moment than your commitment to Christ ….
Peter heard the rooster crow; literally, after his third challenge of the night to take a stand as one of Jesus’ followers. Jesus had said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” To which Peter had answered, somewhat offended, surely indignant, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you” (Matthew 26:34–35)
Yet, immediately after his third denial, as though choreographed down to the millisecond; he heard it …. The rooster crow. And with the prophetic words of Jesus now ringing in his ears from earlier in the day, “he went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:75). He had swallowed his tongue, eaten his words, and failed to be true to his Saviour and Lord ……
Can’t you just see his bent form convulsing in sorrow at the shame and regret he felt? Most assuredly thinking: “Why am I so weak”? …. “What’s wrong with me”? … “Why could I not even stand up for Him” or worse, act like I didn’t even know Him”??
We know this biblical event so well. But there are situations you may know even better because you’ve seen them with your own eyes, places where you’ve heard that rooster crow with your own ears …..
In those moments, is your loyalty to Christ growing stronger? Is your pattern of fidelity increasing and becoming more consistent? Do people know; and not just at church, but everywhere that you go that you love Him as your highest priority?
Jesus said, “Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32–33).
On the day when you stand before Him at judgment, you won’t be able to excuse yourself by claiming your faith was a personal, private matter that no one else had the right or the need to know about …..
You won’t be able to say, “but I didn’t know” ….
Christianity is not a secret society. Something is wrong if people don’t know you serve Him. But today is a new opportunity to raise your flag of loyalty to the top of the mast. Today is a fresh series of moments for choosing backbone over backing down, for choosing resolve over uncertainty and indecision, for choosing faithfulness and obedience over timidity and fear …..
Perhaps in the past you’ve frozen up when given an opening for confessing your faith in Christ. You’ve stumbled and fumbled and found a casual way to change the subject. But a hundred years from now, all that will matter to you is your life pattern of loyalty to Jesus Christ. And you’ll rejoice that whenever the rooster crowed, it wasn’t crowing for You at all ……
In summary, think about where the last place or situation was in which you heard the rooster crow? What did that experience awaken in you? Did the Lord present you with a perfect opportunity to witness for Him; yet you remained silent ….. How can you guard against needing to hear it again? Are you ashamed of Him??
Let us pray ~
Lord, I just want to thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your mercy. Please give me the Strength to never deny You, in any given circumstance. You have been so gracious and faithful to me even when I have been a spiritual coward. Even in those instances where I’ve given into fear and self protection, remaining silent rather than to take a stand.
You have caused the rooster in my life to crow; exposing my weakness and the vast difference between Your loyalty to me, and my loyalty to You. I come to You today, my Lord, and I bow; asking by Your power and Your might that You would give me the courage to declare myself Yours at ALL times; in ALL places, every single chance I get and at every opportunity that You present me with everywhere that I go. Seeing and knowing all that You have done for me; how could I do anything less …
I publicly declare it as my intention today and I trust You to grow me into a courageous follower of Jesus Christ; to stand proud and boldly proclaim Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour and become as Peter, a rock upon which You may depend and use me for Your glory. I pray all of this in the worthy name of Jesus, Amen …..