In their culture chickens were everywhere. It was close to sunup – daylight, wakeup time! Has the rooster crowed in your heart and said, “Wake up!” It’s crowed to me. Has the Lord ever looked straight into your eyes/soul and crowed? It was a defining moment for Peter and should be for us all. There’s no place else in scripture where Peter broke and wept bitterly. It broke his heart. It changed his life. Mess ups should change our lives.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 22

The Rooster Crowed (Luke 22:49-32)

By Pastor Delbert Young

The Rooster Crowed (Luke 22:49-62)

Scriptures: Luke 22:49-51, Luke 22:52-53, Luke 22:54-55, Luke 22:56-57, Luke 22:58, Luke 22:59-60, Matthew 26:74, Luke 22:60-62

My title is “The Rooster Crowed.” How many have ever wakened when a rooster crowed? I used to hate it. Now I understand it. I pray the rest of us will literally somehow experience “The Rooster Crow.”Its sound is unique and it has a lot to say. We left our study last time in Gethsemane with Judas and his kiss of betrayal.

Luke 22:49-51 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we STRIKE WITH OUR SWORDS?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, “NO MORE OF THIS!” And he touched the man’s ear and HEALED HIM.

These swords were not large three feet long swords for war. These swords were machaira {makh’-ahee-rah} – a large knife, used for killing animals and cutting up flesh, a small sword, as distinguished from a large sword. It was probably about 18 inches long. At the end of the Passover meal Jesus told the disciples metaphorically to sell their cloak and buy a sword (Luk 22:36). They said they had two. Was this what Jesus meant? While some questioned, Simon Peter went into combat defending Jesus and began chopping, (Joh 18:10) cutting off the right ear of a servant to the high priest named Malchus (Joh 18:10).

What is your knee jerk reaction when someone attacks you or someone you care about? Do you become defensive? Do you want to begin chopping? Do you slice them with your 18 inch long tongue? Do you aim at their ear? “I told them off! I let them have it! I cut them off!” Some ask the Lord what we should do, but most of us are like Peter and begin whacking. How does Jesus respond to our whacking? Jesus rebuked, “No more of this!” and then he blesses the person we whacked. What?! “Jesus you don’t understand. You got it wrong. Their intent is evil and they want to hurt us. He’s blessing them because we sliced them with our machaira. I’ve seen this so many times even in my own life. If I’m the “whacker,” I get rebuked. If I’m the “whacked,” I get blessed.

Jesus said some strange things like forgive those who injure you, love your enemies, turn the cheek, and do good to those who do evil to you. Here Jesus demonstrated how this looks.

God doesn’t need our swords to advance his kingdom. He needs our hearts and our love for people. To some, not fighting back shows weakness. Weakness?! No! Not fighting back is the strongest response anyone can give. I ask you, which requires the most strength, to retaliate or not retaliate? The whole world flows in hatred, violence, and vengeance. Resisting the flow and healing instead of hurting requires far more strength than cutting someone to pieces. It requires far more strength to not hate than to hate. It requires far more strength to not seek vengeance than to seek vengeance. You’re not weak if you forgive your enemies and heal instead of hurt. It shows you are far braver and stronger than they. This is what has changed the world, not vengeance, cutting off ears, and wars in the name of Jesus.

Luke 22:52-53 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is YOUR HOUR — WHEN DARKNESS REIGNS.”

Jesus asked why they didn’t arrest him in the temple if he was a threat and danger to Caesar. Then he gave them the answer: “This is your hour when darkness reigns.” These were evil people. Do you know any evil people? Have you ever asked why wicked people sometimes seem to prosper? Here’s why: God gives them an hour. God backs off and allows darkness to reign… for an hour. Why? He allows the wicked to drink their cup of the wrath of God (Rev 14:10; 16:19). When their cup is empty and hour is over it’s not pretty and no one needs to ask why God judged them.

Even Jesus went through an hour of darkness. When you go through times when evil, mean people seem to be reigning, realize God’s giving them an hour to drink their cup. Allow the darkness to pass and watch God do his thing. You put away your sword, heal, forgive, and love.

Luke 22:54-55 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest.PETER FOLLOWED AT A DISTANCE. But when they had kindled a fire in the MIDDLE OF THE COURTYARD and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them.

John says Jesus was bound (handcuffed). We’ll talk about the six trials and indictments of Jesus next time. Today, for the remainder of our time, let’s look at Peter’s mess up. Peter’s three denials is juxtaposed with the three Jewish trials of Jesus meaning as Jesus was on trial standing upright and majestic, Peter was failing the Lord he’d sworn he’d die to protect (Luk 22:33).

Peter’s gotten a bad wrap especially by perfect preachers who never messed up. Thank God none of those guys are here and we can all be honest knowing only we mess ups are here. This story about Peter wasn’t put in the Bible so perfect preachers could blast Simon Peter. It’s here to show us no matter how much we love God we have the potential to mess up. Did you know every single person in the Bible (given enough information) messed up except three – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? What does this tell me? Unless you are a part of the trinity, you will mess up. Messing up is a part of our journey with God. We all have a propensity to mess up. However, it doesn’t broadside God. He already knows when we will mess up, where we will mess up, and how we will mess up down to the moment the rooster crowed to wake us. Most amazingly God will use us and our mess ups after we mess up and often in a greater way than before. There are always consequences to mess ups, but God is for us as our ally. He’s not against us. Let’s take a look at Peter’s mess up.

It said Peter followed at a distance as the “handcuffed” Jesus was taken to the house of the high priest. How did Peter gain entrance into the private guarded courtyard of Annas and Caiaphas? It was by John who was known by the high priest (Jon 18:15-16). That’s interesting, but my thought is at least Peter was there (and John). Peter really loved Jesus. We do see Peter was sold out to Jesus, right? Where were the others? Peter risked arrest and execution by associating with Jesus who was deemed a rebel in rebellion.

The early morning 4 AM air was chilly. A fire was made. Peter joined those around the fire in the middle of the courtyard when…

Luke 22:56-57 A SERVANT GIRL saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said.

This was the first denial. The flickering firelight exposed Peter. In a most unexpected way a middle school girl pointed out Peter and the mighty apostle cowered to a middle school girl and lied. This was the same Peter who only minutes before was willing to take on a crowd armed with swords and clubs with only an eighteen inch knife. Not long before this Peter declared he would go to prison and death for Jesus and he meant it. You do realize Peter lived up to his word. Peter was willing to be arrested and even die right then for Jesus. What happened? How can one moment Peter be so brave and powerful and in the next moment be a weak liar?

What happens to us? We can come in here on Sunday and praise, jump, clap, worship, preach, and teach. We seem so powerful until Monday when, without warning, the most unexpected thing can come along with the potential to mess us up forever. We leak, don’t we?

Luke 22:58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

This was the second denial. It seems Peter left the light of the fire to avoid identification and likely looking around to find Jesus he encountered someone else who recognized him. Even then he didn’t leave the compound. You’ve got to give it to him. He stayed! Certainly he heard the loud voices accusing and yelling at Jesus, but he stayed. Peter was messing up, but he loved Jesus.

Luke 22:59-60 About an hour later another ASSERTED, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

This was the third denial. What gave Peter away? Matthew tells us it was his northern accent (Mat 26:73). “Ya ain’t frum round here r’ ya?” Matthew said Peter denied it with an oath (Mat 26:71). I’d be something like, “I swear on God’s name, I don’t know the man.” He’s getting deeper and deeper. Isn’t this what always happens? As we study all four gospels it appears Peter denied more than to three people. It was several times in three separate locations over several hours. Matthew 26:70 says he denied it before them all.

Matthew 26:74 Then he began to call down curses on himself and he swore to them, “I don’t know the man!”

Peter said something like “May God damn me if I know this Jesus.” The same mouth that said, “You are the Christ the Son of the living God” cursed and lied? Likely your mouth has done something similar. It may not have been about your knowing Jesus, but about something. By so doing we said, “I don’t know the man.” It began with a single lie. Then it escalated into a series of lies becoming intensified by profanities. The truth is you messed up.

Luke 22:60-62 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, THE ROOSTER CROWED. The Lord turned and LOOKED STRAIGHT AT PETER. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

In their culture chickens were everywhere. It was close to sunup – daylight, wakeup time! Has the rooster crowed in your heart and said, “Wake up!” The rooster crowed to me before. Has the Lord ever looked straight into your eyes/soul and crowed? When the rooster crowed it was a defining moment for Peter and should be for us all. There’s no place else in scripture where Peter broke and wept bitterly. It broke his heart. It changed his life. Mess ups should change our lives and always is a time when the rooster crowed.

A rooster crowed? A chicken! God will touch a heart in the seemingly most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times. God will crow on the fencepost of our lives giving us a wakeup call. Sometimes God’s like a rooster screaming at the apex of its lungs, “Wake up! It’s a new day! Yes, you messed up. Let’s deal with it and move on.” The echo of this rooster forever lived with Peter.

This wasn’t the end of Peter’s story. In a way it was the beginning. It isn’t a story of failure. It’s a story of what you do when you fail. Peter grew closer to the Lord after his failure. He didn’t hang himself like Judas. Peter was used mightily by God. Your failure can define you as a failure, or your failure can make you what you are intended to be. Peter’s legacy was not one of failure. It’s a legacy of what failure can accomplish.

Listen for the rooster to crow. It’s a wake up call. Don’t roll over and go back to sleep. What’s the rooster crowing in your life? Maybe it’s put your 18″ machaira tongue away. Forgive. Heal instead of hurt. Maybe it’s go through your hour of darkness, let the wicked drink their cup, and allow God to work. You love, forgive, and heal instead of hurt. Maybe it’s letting God use you even though you messed up. The rooster says it’s a new day. Don’t allow yesterday’s mess up to define you. Allow yesterday’s mess up to change you and show what your mess up accomplished. THE ROOSTER CROWED.

Other Related Sermons:

You and the Tomb – Easter sermon

The Resurrection Proofed – Easter sermon video audio notes

Easter Blood Sacrifice – sermon video audio notes