2017-01-15 – John 18.12-27 – The Rooster Crowed

2017-01-15 – John 18:12-27 – The Rooster Crowed

Jesus before the High Priest
12 So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.

Peter Denies Jesus
15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. 17 The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

The High Priest Questions Jesus
19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Peter Denies Jesus Again
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Good morning everyone – Thank you all for joining us today (guests).
Anyone remember the old song called, Ice Ice Baby. Please be safe dear church.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3CenN7d30Y

Anyone here ever raise chickens. Chickens are interesting creatures. I am sure you all have a couple stories about chickens you could share. Today’s message is entitled The Rooster Crowed. I remember my mom decided once when I was young that she wanted to raise chickens to get fresh eggs for the family. She went and got some 25 baby chicks to raise for eggs, but as it turned out there wasn’t a hen in the bunch. We had a whole chicken coop full of young roosters. Doesn’t that just figure.. lol  Well, we ate a lot of chicken that winter.. lol

Today we are going to read about the Apostle Peter’s run-in with a rooster.  Peter, one of the best of us, and certainly one of the most privileged of us, who spent three-years walking with the Lord, and was the leader of the new Christian church. For him, the story we will read as conveyed in our Bible, although it wasn’t a good situation, it made for a great lesson for him and for us today.

Please turn in your Bible for todays message to John 18:12-27, Page 112 in the Pew Bible.  Which is the Inspired, Infallible, and Living Word of God     [PRAYER]

Last week we read where Jesus was confronted by the Roman and Jewish authorities. Jesus boldly greeted them, and as they came forward to arrest Him, Peter tried to defend Jesus and cut off one of their ears, for which Jesus rebuked Peter and healed the man’s ear. That was, what I believe Jesus’s last healing before He died on the cross. He gave mercy to the enemy. Our story continues now with what is entitled, Jesus before the High Priest, in verse 12 it says:

12 So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.
What this graphic shows is the location and timing of all what happened that Good Friday morning. There were a total of Six-Trials prior to Jesus’s crucifixion. And each one of them were illegal according to the Jewish and Roman rule.

The chief of priests Caiaphas had it out for Jesus for quite some time now. As it said here, Caiaphas had a few run-ins with Jesus before. Back in John 11 as is entitled The Plot to Kill Jesus The Sanhedrin council said “If we let Him go on like this, everyone will believe in Him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” But one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” Caiaphas, although he was against Jesus was prophesizing that day, because our verses today reveal that is exactly what happened.

But in our verse today notice they took Jesus first to Annas, not Caiaphas. The reason for this is that even though Caiaphas was the High Priest, Annas his father-in-law, was still the unofficial authority, pulling the strings as he was the High Priest years ago, and now he was a wealthy business man. Recall that when Jesus cleared out the temple and then said that a “den of thieves” were operating there. Annas was the head of those temple operations. Jesus upset Annas’s operations. He was Kind of like a mafia boss, and he wanted Jesus dead.

So when Caiaphas announced that it was better to have “one person die for the people than that the whole nation perish”, he said that knowing that the Jews relationship with the Romans was fragile, and instead of exciting the Romans, it would be better to take Jesus out. And now he had his chance. Jesus was standing before this first judge, do you think He had a fair trial. No, I think not.

Peter Denies Jesus
15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. 17 The woman said to Peter, “You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.

I will remind you that it was very early morning when all this was taking place. Jesus had told Peter in advance that he was going to deny knowing Jesus three times. In John 13, Peter says to Jesus, “I will lay down my life for You.” “Will you lay down your life for Me? Jesus replied. “Truly, truly, I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” What we have in these verses is the realization of what Jesus warned Peter about. How humiliating in retrospect I am sure it was for Peter. But sometimes a little humble-pie is what’s needed to get a person back on the right side of the sin line. And that is exactly what happened.

The High Priest Questions Jesus
19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, “I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

As I was writing up this message I was listening to the confirmation hearings for the Presidential appointees. I remember watching the senators and congressmen asking such difficult questions to the appointees. I was imagining how it would be to be in their position. They were throwing the kitchen sink at those guys. Despite the antagonism in their questions and responses, the appointees being questioned kept their cool. But what a coincidence that as I was writing this message the atmosphere was similar to what Jesus was undergoing here in our verses. Jesus was being ridiculed and mocked before His judges, and Peter and John were watching the whole thing unfold, but could do nothing about it. The Jews wanted to kill Jesus themselves, but they had to involve Romans since they didn’t have the authority to carry out capital punishment; only the Romans had that right. So instead, they had to build the case against Jesus, to hold against Him when they went in front of the Roman authorities. Annas wanted to compel Jesus to incriminate Himself, but instead Jesus handled it masterfully.

Peter Denies Jesus Again
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, “You are not also one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Peter, who had just cut off the ear of the soldier slave was now standing in front of that man’s relative. It wasn’t like days or weeks ago.. it was merely hours. Yes, it was 1 or 2am in the morning, and yes, it was by torch light, but the man recognized Peter. I am sure Peter was in fear for his life, and thus Peter lied. In doing so, He also denied Jesus Christ, his master and friend. Peter put his life above that of Jesus Christ. What would you have done?

I don’t know if you have ever been in that position, where you feared for your life, but it is a bad position to be in indeed. Reminds me of when I was a young solder and went scuba diving in the South Pacific. We were spear fishing for tuna in a lagoon. We had a few already on our belt, and a shark came about. The shark smelled the blood of the tuna and started poking around us. Without thinking, I quickly repositioned myself putting my buddy between me and the shark. I didn’t even think about it, I just did it. It was my survival instinct. But a moment later, I corrected myself and we let go of the fish, and the shark (and we) were happy to say goodbye.

Now we could only guess what was going through Peter’s mind that early morning. But His friend Jesus was being dragged away by soldiers to be put to death.  Peter was in fear for his life and thus he denied even knowing Christ, but I am here to tell you that sometimes you react without thinking when you are put in those circumstances. There is very little, maybe a millisecond response that separates cowards from heroes.

The ironic thing is Jesus even told Peter that he would do it. And still he denied him three times Just as Jesus said. All four of the Gospels record this exchange..
(Matthew 26:34) Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times”.
(Luke 22:34) Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me”.
(Mark 14:30) And in Mark Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times”.
(John 13:38) Jesus answered him… “Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times”.
I like how Peter responds to Jesus as written in verse 35 of Luke he said, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

I found one of the most interesting statements comes later from Luke 22 verse 61, this is after the trials, after the scourging, ridicule and pain, just prior to Jesus being lifted up on that cross, listen to this, Luke says “The rooster, crowed a second time, and the Lord turned and looked at Peter.” Can you imagine, Jesus turned and looked straight into Peter’s eyes. Peter had denied him three times and now Jesus, after being beaten down, was looking straight at him. I’m pretty sure that’s a look that Peter never, ever, ever forgot.

Then later Jesus asks him in chapter 21, after He raised himself from the dead but before Jesus ascended into heaven. He said to Peter, Do you Love me, Do you Love me, Do you Love me?  Just like when Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, Jesus subsequently has Peter validate his Love for Jesus three times. Peter said Yes, Yes, YES! Then Jesus hands the church over to Peter to caretake. Jesus forgave Peter for his indiscretions, and because Peter humbled himself and learned from his mistake. Peter was more dedicated and passionate for the cause of Christ than perhaps he would have been so otherwise.

Peter doesn’t believe in himself any more. He knows what he is capable of. This was a profound lesson for him. Later in the Bible this same Peter stood up on the Day of Pentecost and preached a great sermon, and scripture says three thousand were converted. And he preached again and again and tens of thousands were being converted in Jerusalem. And then he sat down and wrote the books of 1st & 2nd Peter. In 1 Peter 1:6 he wrote “though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”. Peter wrote from experience.

It’s a great lesson for us to learn. Not to be overconfident, but to understand the weakness of our flesh. Peter’s failure proves that anyone can fall at any time so we should be on guard. Peter’s restoration proves that God’s grace truly is greater than all our failures and sin. Therefore, let us sinners everywhere run to Jesus Christ for forgiveness.

Maybe like Peter you heard the roosters crow in your life situation.

I remember visiting the Virgin Islands once with a buddy of mine when I was still a young soldier. We camped out on the beautiful beaches there and had the best of times. Hot sun, beautiful ocean scenery, and on cold days like this, boy don’t I wish I could be there right now. On our last day of the adventure we stayed in a hotel room on top of a small hill on the Island of Saint Thomas. We wanted to get some good sleep before we had to take the long plane ride back to the states. But all night long the wild roosters were crowing near the streetlights. Cock-a-doodle-do, Cock-a-doodle-do. We didn’t sleep at all that night.

Well maybe you have been losing some sleep because the rooster is figuratively crowing at night as a result of your situation or sin. Please know that God wants to take that burden away. Like Peter, He wants to forgive you so that you can be free to do great things. But you have to choose to give it to Him. Are you willing?