Before the rooster crows ...

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.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 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.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

This is probably one of the most famous passages in the bible and perhaps in all of literature. Who cannot relate to weeping bitterly when we fail spiritually? Who does not occasionally hear the crow of the rooster when we sin? Such is the result when we put our trust in the flesh. I can relate to Peter's boasting. Many times we do not understand how difficult it is to overcome temptation and make statements that we wish we had never said. Such is the broken state that Peter finds himself as he denies the Lord.

Peter, like all of us, needed the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit. It is so interesting to see the change in Peter and the disciples in the book of Acts after the Holy Spirit came on them. All of a sudden these disciples no longer cowered behind closed doors. Consider what Peter said before the same tribunal that tried Jesus when Peter thrice denied him:
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well.
This man who cowered at the questioning of a servant girl now waxed bold in front of those who had condemned his master to death. This turn around is simply amazing and speaks to the influence of the Holy Spirit on Peter and we ourselves. This speaks to me of inability to live by the flesh and our need to be filled each day with the Spirit of God.

Fill me afresh Lord. My flesh is weak. I need your powerful presence in my life.

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