The dictionary defines the word, cocky, as “conceited or arrogant, especially in a bold or cheeky way.”  We have noted that one of Peter’s positive traits was his boldness.  However, while Peter proclaimed the Name of the Lord with boldness, he also proclaimed what he believed was his own ability to control things.

In short, there was ample evidence that Peter fit the definition of “cocky.”  So it is somewhat amusing that his failure to control events or even his own emotions was marked by the crowing of a rooster (also called a cock).

When Jesus talked plainly about what would happen to Him, Peter rebuked Him and said, “Never Lord, this will not happen to You.”  Jesus rebuked Peter and spoke directly to satan.  It was satan who was influencing Peter to only see things from his point of view instead of from the spiritual view Jesus wanted for Peter.

At what we have come to call “The Last Supper”, Jesus revealed there was one among them who would betray Him.  Each disciple asked Jesus, “Is it I?”  They wondered if there was something within them they had not yet recognized.

Have you ever asked yourself:  Is there anything within me that does not completely line up with what God wants for me?  Sometimes our actions serve as a warning to us that we are not as pure as we think we are.  Sometimes we do not recognize the stumbling blocks satan is attempting to put up to keep us from fully participating in God’s Kingdom.

Many of us have puzzled over why David was considered a man after God’s own heart.  David did a number of things that seemed very unlike God.  However, the key point is that David knew he did not always line up with God’s Will for His Life.  And he made so many mistakes, he finally accepted that he was not doing too well in recognizing his own limitations.

He asked God to check him out, to be his Quality Control, before he messed up again.  Are we brave enough to pray as David did?

Search me and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me into the Way Everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24

Jesus gave Peter a warning, when He told him satan had already asked for the disciples.  Jesus said satan wanted to sift them like wheat.  Put bluntly, satan wanted to separate them from Jesus and from each other.  In a very touching moment, Jesus showed how much of an Intercessor He was.  He said,

But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.

  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

Luke 22:32

Jesus spoke directly to the person Peter had been — Simon.  He was praying for Simon Peter’s humanly weak side.  And Jesus had faith that Simon would overcome and turn back to Him.  Jesus was counting on Peter, the Rock, to bring unity, not division, to his disciple brothers.

However, Peter had not reached the level of maturity we saw in David.  He was still convinced he could prevail through his own strength.  Peter responded,

Lord, I am ready to go with You to prison and to death!

Luke 22:33

It was at this point Jesus revealed to Peter that indeed before the rooster (cock) crowed, Peter would deny three times that he even knew Jesus.

The disciples went with Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He went apart to pray.  Jesus told His Disciples to pray they would not enter into temptation.  Jesus was very clear that satan was actively roaming and threatening.

But when Jesus returned from praying, He found His Disciples sleeping.  Again, He told them, “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”  Jesus knew He could intercede for them, but the time had come for them to take authority over satan.  They were going to be sitting ducks if they continued to sleep.

In fact, Judas and the soldiers were approaching at that moment.  Peter had a sword, and he knew how to use it.  He lopped off the ear of a Roman soldier.  Jesus told Peter to put his sword away.  Jesus then healed the soldier’s ear.

Jesus wanted Peter to use his sword, but not his physical one.  He wanted him to realize they were in the midst of a spiritual battle.  He wanted Peter “prayed up” and connected with His Father.  He wanted Peter to have the victory over satan by using the Sword of the Spirit, just as He had done in the dessert when He was tempted.  What is this Sword of the Spirit?

Paul identified the Sword in Ephesians 6:17.  The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God!

Peter was now unable to use his physical sword.  Jesus had told him to put it away.  Peter was about to lose Jesus from physical sight.  He thought he had learned the lesson from water walking that he would be ok if he just kept his eyes on Jesus.  Stripped of his sword and with his Leader looking powerless, Peter, who thought he was a giant, turned into a mouse.

Peter, the man who stood out from the crowd, now became a part of the crowd.  He followed, but at a distance.  When the world gets tough and Jesus does not act like we think He should act, are we guilty of continuing to follow Him, but at a distance?  Is our trust in Him weakened?  Are we back to looking at what He might do next before we decide whether we will still follow?

Peter followed the crowd into the courtyard.  When some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 

Peter was already feeling the chill of what he believed was Jesus’ absence.  As his Lord was being tried, Peter was also being tried.  God threw out the first exam question through a servant girl.  The girl saw Peter seated there in the firelight.  She looked closely at him, and said, “This man was with Him.”  How would you have answered?  Peter denied it.

Woman, I don’t know Him!

Luke 22:57

Test Question Two:  A little later, someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.”

“Man, I am not!” Peter replied.

Luke 22:58

Test Question Three:  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!”

Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed.  The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter.  Then Peter remembered the Words the Lord had spoken to him:  “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown Me three times.”

Why does a rooster crow?  In researching this question, I found the rooster is actually close to his hens, who are sitting on the eggs.  The rooster crows periodically to announce to all that this is his territory.  And the rooster crows to warn his hens of danger when there is an intruder.  Jesus had warned Peter at different times to be on the lookout for satan.  Now Jesus was warning Peter again that satan had entered His Territory.

Was it the crowing of the rooster that revealed Peter’s sins to him?  Or was it the Look of the Lord that brought revelation so bright that no sin could hide?  The Bible does not tell us how Jesus looked at Peter.  Some assume it was probably with extreme disapproval … or perhaps a look that said, “Peter, I told you so.”

But I believe Jesus looked at Peter the way He always did.  He looked at him with Love, seeing the old Simon, but also knowing who Peter was.  I believe Jesus looked through the Eyes of Love.  Jesus still saw Peter as the Rock he was destined to be.

We don’t know whether Peter was at the cross.  There is no mention of Peter again until after Jesus’ Resurrection.  Scriptures say Jesus’ Disciples fled and Judas killed himself.  Where was Peter?  And since we are taking this journey to the cross together, where would you have been?

In the next blog post, we’ll look at Peter’s amazing return to true boldness, as he runs into an empty tomb … and later has an amazing reunion with Jesus!

But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail.

  And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.

Luke 22:32

About carolynpriesterjones

Follower of Jesus, Seeker of Truth, Commentator on Life, Light Bearer, Water Carrier, one of God’s Creations still under construction

3 responses »

  1. Claudia says:

    Sometimes we do not recognize the stumbling blocks satan is attempting to put up to keep us from fully participating in God’s Kingdom.

    Completely examined well done… I liked the comparison with David and Peter…
    I liked the tie into the rooster and cockey…
    Peter was a Sanguine – spoke quickly and emotionally

    Thank you for this insightful analysis…

  2. Claudia says:

    Good Sermon Material you are creating!

  3. […] Peter: Not So Cocky Any More! (carolynpriesterjones.org) Share this:StumbleUponDiggEmailFacebookTwitterRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. from → Uncategorized ← Ministering On The Streets! by E. Davenport April 30, 2012 No comments yet […]

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