If the Rooster Crows…

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.’ But he (Peter) said emphatically, ‘if I must die with you, I will not deny you.’” Mark 14:30 ESV

As we discovered last week, Mark is believed to have been written by John Mark, a protege of Peter. In a way, you can say this is actually Peter’s Gospel, for it would’ve been Peter who informed Mark of the events that are contained in this narrative.

Mark presents Jesus as the Suffering Servant. The first ten chapters portray Jesus living His life in service, the final six chapters portray Jesus giving His life in sacrifice.

We arrive now at Chapter 11, the triumphal entry! Hosanna!

Chapters 11 to 16 cover the period from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday.

As I considered which portions of these last six chapters I should write on this week, staying with the theme that Peter has influenced this gospel, I thought I would blog a little on Peter’s denial.

In chapter 14, versus 26 – 31 Jesus foretells of Peter’s denial. We all know the story, Jesus warns his disciples that after his death, they will all scatter. In response, Peter tells Jesus that even though all the others may fall away he will not!

Jesus looks at Peter and tells him that this very night before the rooster crows he will deny Jesus three times.

Peter in turn tells Jesus that he will never deny Him. Yet, deny Jesus he did.

All four Gospels record this conversation and Peter’s subsequent denial (See Matthew 26, Luke 22, Mark 14, and John 13,18).

After his denial, Peter heard the rooster crow and we are told that he broke down and wept.

Now, our story does not end there, Jesus would appear to Peter and others following the resurrection. Peter would go on to be a major player in the early church, we are told of his exploits in Acts. He would write a couple of letters we hold dear in the New Testament.

I have often wondered if Peter felt a twinge of sorrow whenever he heard a rooster crow the remainder of his life.

Do you ever find yourself reminded of past sin when you are in certain situations? Are there “rooster crows” in your own life? Reminders that make you cringe, cause you to weep with sorrow?

Jesus paid the price for your past sin, my past sin, and even covered our current and future sin. We have been forgiven, Jesus died that we would be forgiven of all past wrongs.

Yet we struggle to forgive ourselves. Know this child of Christ, we have been forgiven! We can live in that knowledge and freedom. Be it Mary Magdalene, the thief on the cross, or Nicodemus – a religious leader, Jesus paid the price for our sins and has forgiven us – isn’t it time we forgive ourselves?

Until next time… keep reading!

Jim

A New Reading Plan

Well here we go! The new reading plan. Between now and the Advent season, we will read through the New Testament. I hope you like the way that we have laid out our new plan.

First thing you’ll notice – we start with the book of Mark. We have switched things around from a typical way that one might go about reading the New Testament.

Mark is often thought to have been the first gospel written and I like that it is a fast paced account – action, action, action!

Mark is believed to have been written by John Mark, a protégé of Peter. In a way you can say this is actually Peter’s Gospel, for it would’ve been Peter who informed Mark of the events that are contained in this gospel.

So we have organized our reading plan in a way to begin with the thoughts of Peter, his impact on this gospel, the chapters in Acts that focus on Peter and of course the writings attributed to the Apostle Peter – 1 & 2 Peter.

Mark presents Jesus as the Suffering Servant. The first 10 chapters portray Jesus living His life in service, the final 6 chapters portray Jesus giving His life in sacrifice.

Mark was written primarily for Gentile Roman Christians. If written during Peter’s lifetime, as many scholars believe, it would have occurred during the persecutions of Nero, the reigning emperor.

Mark teaches us that Jesus Christ is the Messiah because He is the Son of God, and His death as the suffering Son of Man was God’s plan for people’s redemption.

I like this gospel because it is pastoral in nature, written as a tool for discipleship.

The Christians in Rome would have heard and believed the good news of God’s saving power (Rom. 1:8) but they needed to hear it again with a re-need emphasis, a much needed reminder in a dissolute and often hostile environment.

They needed to understand the nature of discipleship — what it meant to follow Jesus, in light of who Jesus is and what He had done and would keep doing for them.

In light of this, Mark shows us how Jesus cared for His disciples and taught them about discipleship in the context of His death and resurrection — the same kind of care and teaching needed by all of us who follow Jesus.

So as you read Mark imagine yourself at the footsteps of Peter, listening to the Apostle teach what he learned from Jesus on discipleship.

“And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”” Mark 1:17 NASB

Until next time… Keep reading!

Jim

Sources for this blog: Bible Knowledge Commentary – some excerpts were taken directly from this source.