Christ's Cure For Crowing Christians
by Dennis Michelson
Before the rooster . . .
Introduction: Being a preacher(or even an Apostle) does not exempt one from being a good Christian. When we get too cocky in the ministry, the Lord has a way of sifting us and bringing us back to a place of useful service. In Luke 22:31 Peter was warned that Satan desired to sift him as wheat.
Peter's response was one of pride when he affirmed that he was ready to go to prison - or even death! The Lord did not pray for Peter's deliverance but He did pray that Peter's faith would not fail and also that the sifting process would result in Peter being able to help his brethren.
When Satan sifts us then he designs to keep the chaff and destroy the wheat. When God permits such sifting it is to destroy the chaff and keep the wheat! The following is an outline of the sifting process.
1. Peter's Compromise (22:54-55)
It is said "Peter followed afar off." If you are not as close to the Lord today as you were yesterday, then guess who moved? In these two verses we see the same process as outlined in Psalm 1 - walk in the counsel of the ungodly; stand in the way of sinners; sit in the seat of the scornful. Peter sat down and warmed himself by the fire of the enemy. Beware when you are able to sit down and get comfortable in the midst of the enemy.
2. Peter's Company (22:56-59)
In Proverbs 7 the main character finds himself at the wrong place and at the wrong time. It is no surprise that you meet the wrong people. The great Apostle of the Church is reduced to profanity by a "certain maid." In the space of one hour this preacher denied His Lord three times. If Peter could fall that far in one hour then how much more vigilant should we be. The fear of man indeed will bring a snare.
3. Peter's Conviction (22:60-61)
The rooster crowed at exactly the precise moment the Lord had predicted. How sad when the rooster displayed more obedience to the command of Christ than the Apostle! When we are being sifted then certain things will happen and WE KNOW that they are not accidents; only Divine appointments. The preaching poultry got Peter's attention but it was the "word of the Lord" that produced the conviction.
4. Peter's Crying (22:62)
At this point Peter was no better than Judas in that he wept over being caught but remorse is not the same as repentance. As one man said, "repentance is not merely being sorry, it is being sorry enough to quit." Peter was now softened up but not yet straightened up and the Lord knew it would take one more thing.
5. Peter's Confession (John 21:15-17)
It is no accident that the Lord asks Peter three times about his level of love for the Master. Before all of this happened Peter was quick to say he loved the Lord more than any of the others. Now, he meekly says "thou knowest all things." Peter has now gone from knowing everything to knowing only one thing - and that thing is that the Lord knows more than Peter.
The Lord Jesus - seeing this genuine humility following humiliation - says "feed my sheep." Going to prison, or even being ready to die for the Lord means nothing if we do not love Him. The Lord now has a broken vessel he can use for the final part of this message.
6. Peter's Comeback (Acts 2:14)
Who is that standing up in the midst of the eleven? It is Peter. The eleven had heard Peter preach before but never like this! When will we learn that God does not prepare sermons - He prepares people! How many times have we seen blessing coming out of brokenness?
Pitiful Peter is now Pentecostal Peter. No chastening for the present seems to be joyous but grievous, nevertheless afterwards it yields the peaceable (and powerful) fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised thereby. When we get cocky then God can even use a rooster to bring us from crowing, to crying, and then to a comeback.