Chickens and Roosters

by Rev. Howard Rosen, Jr

Pleasant Grove Baptist

John 13:36-38 - Luke 22:31-34, 54-62

We will use Luke’s account of this story today to give a greater picture of what the message is all about.

We have all heard the expression “Gospel Bird” especially here in the South where it is common to find the plate of fried chicken at the center of the Sunday dinner table.

But after looking closer at this story I think we need to reconsider the place of the Chicken and put the Rooster as the “Gospel Bird”.

We have all made promises, then when it comes time to carry them out we turn Chicken! We fail to consider the cost of the promise or hoping we will not have to be brought to the place of keeping the promise.

As with a very wealthy business man who was on his death bed. He promised his pastor if God would heal him he would give the church a million dollars. Well he was healed, and after a long time of being back at church the pastor asks him. Jim remember the promise you made to God when you were so sick, that if he healed you, you would give the church a million dollars? He said wow did I say that? Man I must have been really sick preacher!

Well, we do the same thing don’t we? We think we are so sure of what we can do then when it comes time to do it we chicken out. That is the whole message to us in this story.


Peter tells Jesus in John 13:37 he would lay down his life for him. And no doubt he thought he was strong enough to keep the promise.

1. Jesus knew his heart from the start. The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

2. Jesus warns Peter of the power of Satan. Luke 22:31

3. Jesus tells Peter that his weakness was to be shown, but he also would be made stronger by it. You see when Jesus says, thou art not converted, He was saying that Peter was not completely sold out to Him, and that is why he turned chicken and could not carry out his promise.

Jesus also knew the out come that is why He told Peter to strengthen thy brethren. My friends when we do fail and God shows us our weakness He does it to make us stronger that others may be helped. We know that the life of Peter clearly shows this.


As Peter no doubt was shocked at what was taking place when Judas brought the soldiers to take away Jesus. He was also ready to fight as we know he cut off the ear of one, and Jesus put it back on, but this is where the fear started.

1. Jesus was taken. In V54 the soldiers took Jesus and led Him away.

2. Peter followed, but from a far off. See he was chicken, but still wanted to be with Jesus, but only at a comfortable distance. Don’t we know about that one! Chicken to get too close. Some want to be a part of the church, but only follow Christ from a distance.

3. Peter sat down among them. V55 Now his problems are getting worse. Instead of separating himself from the others he sat down with them. Hey! They were the enemy! They were Satan’s tools to be used to feed Peter’s fear. To make him more a chicken!

4. Peter got comfortable with them. V56 He is getting warm by their fire. He thought he blended in, he thought he would not be noticed. The chicken felt safe with the enemy!

5. Peter is seen by a girl. V57 He says Woman I know him not. There is nothing that will make a Christian turn chicken more that being seen where he does not suppose to be.

6. Peter had gotten the attention of the others. V58 When we fail to stand for God and we mix with the world, they see and they will point you out, and no matter how much you deny and turn chicken the damage to the cause of Christ is already done.

7. Peter says, Man I am not. They knew better, they knew where he should have been, they knew he was chicken, and Satan loved it! When we lose our testimony, it is the same way.

8. Peter saw that time could not change the truth. V59 He was still chicken after an hour. They even knew where he had come from, no doubt from his accent they new he did not belong there. Honey the world is not your friend they will turn on you no matter how long you try to set with them, and talk with them, you belong to God even though you may be chicken, and try because of fear to fit in you only make it worse, as with Peter, Man I know not what you are saying.


Now the real “Gospel Bird”, three little words, the cock crew.

1. By the Rooster Crowing – Peter was brought to remember the Word of God. Satan desires to sift you as wheat. We must let the Holy Spirit remind us of God’s word, and obey.

2. By the Rooster Crowing – Peter was reminded of the all seeing eye of God. V61 the Lord looked upon Peter. We must remember that Jesus wants us to take a stand, He watches over us not as a dictator, but as a loving Shepard.

3. By the Rooster Crowing – Peter was brought to the place of repentance. V62. Sometimes God will use to craziest thing to bring us back to Him, but it is the work of God nevertheless. He does call it the foolishness of preaching.


Even though this “Gospel Bird’s” job was seemingly unimportant it was the voice of the rooster that brought Peter back to God, and we know it was Peter God used to preach the powerful message to the early church, and thousands were reached, and in fact still are.

1. The Rooster – Did what was normal, crowing. We need to speak up for our Lord.

2. The Rooster – Was not ashamed, or (chicken) to do what he was supposed to do.

3. The Rooster – Didn’t know he would be used in such a mighty way, he just crowed.

4. The Rooster – The real job of the rooster is to get people up out of their sleep and get busy. Just as Peter, sometimes we need a wake up call, to be brought back to the place where we should be. Sometimes we had rather kill the rooster than to listen to his message, please don’t!

Someone may be ready to listen, someone may be like Peter and all it would take is one crow, just a few words, to turn their life around. Which will you chose to be this year a chicken or a rooster? All it takes is being where you are supposed to be, doing what you are supposed to do, and saying what you are supposed to say. God will do the rest.

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