Matthew 26:34-35; 69-75
I was raised in a city north of Chicago. I say it’s a suburb of Chicago and we lived in a suburb of the suburb. If you can follow that. It wasn’t city yet it wasn’t completely country. What I’m trying to say is that I do not consider myself a city girl, but a country girl. I guess it’s all in the eye of the beholder. But I’m definitely a country girl by heart.
I love everything about the country. I’m sure city life has its perks but I’ll always take the country first. I particularly love the wildlife and farm animals. Someday I’d like to have a fainting goat and a cow. Chickens too. Chickens are some of the funniest animals to watch. Our neighbors have chickens and one lone rooster who crows anytime he feels like it…sometimes all day long. I don’t mind. I like to hear him. To me hearing a rooster crow makes me feel all countrified and stuff. And that’s a great feeling for me.
Animals were very important during Bible times and in the stories written. Doves, donkeys, goats, sheep, bears, a whale, lions, snakes, etc. They played vital roles in the stories told. God often used the simple to teach essential life lessons. I am going to reflect on one of these lessons this morning. It’s short. It’s simple in form, yet it contains a powerful message.
Once upon a time, a very long time ago, a rooster crowed and it made a grown man cry.
Matthew 26:34-35; 69-75
34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” 35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.
69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Even after seeing all the wonderful miracles Jesus had performed during His teaching and ministry, Peter did two things. 1) He did not believe Jesus…that he could possibly deny Him. 2) Peter went straight out and denied Jesus three times.
Peter saw with his own eyes all that Jesus had done, yet he still denied Him. Can you imagine how he felt every time he heard a rooster crow for the rest of his life. Would a rooster crow have brought a peace to his heart like it does mine? I don’t think so.
Then there is Thomas, often referred to as “Doubting Thomas”, who needed to physically touch Jesus in order to believe.
24 Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” 26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
God is long-suffering because He knows our human weaknesses. We doubt. We forget. We deny. We sin, repent, only to sin again. Often in the same sin. He is gracious in giving us time.
We have the Bible to bring our history to life. And it is our history. It was written for our learning, to know from where we came from, the struggles of the human race, the discipline, the love of God, and to help us from doubting and denying. Even though we didn’t see the wonders and miracles performed first hand, nor did we touch Jesus’s side, we can believe.
I am grateful for the word of God.
I am grateful that God is long-suffering.
I am grateful for every morning I wake up.
I am grateful that Jesus died for our sins.
Photos: my kitchen rooster (what a ham…he likes his picture taken); Buddy’s Bible