Mark 14 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“While Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the high priest’s servants came. When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, ‘You also were with that Nazarene, Yeshua!’ But he denied it: ‘I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about!’ Then he went out to the entryway, and a rooster crowed.” Mark 14:66-68
In Hebrew, the word for rooster is “gever” which is similar to “gevura”, meaning constriction or restraint. In Jewish tradition, the rooster is also a symbol of new beginnings. Early in the morning it is the call of the rooster that serves as the alarm clock, rousing man from his peaceful sleep, bidding him to begin his day’s work.
When Peter denies Yeshua, the first crow of the rooster can be taken to symbolize his Turning-Away from the Lord…but not necessarily his disbelief. This is a stark contrast to Peter’s earlier statements of faith! Peter’s betrayal was in response to Satan’s vicious attack against his flesh.
“Simon, Simon, look out! Satan has asked to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32
Yeshua knew that Peter would turn away, but He also knew the effectiveness of His prayers to the Father! Yeshua was certain Peter would learn his lesson and having done so, would become the most effective Kingdom-builder among the original disciples.
Those who are impetuous with their faith, generally sin impetuously. Peter allowed himself to be constricted/restrained by the enemy’s pressure, to the point where he acted against his personal beliefs. Self-preservation overrode faithful conviction. As a boa snake restrains it prey by constricting it, so Satan was squeezing Peter for the kill.
“Then he started to curse himself and swear with an oath, ‘I don’t know the man you’re talking about!’ Immediately, the rooster crowed a second time, and Peter remembered when Yeshua had spoken the word to him, ‘Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.’ When he thought about it, he began to weep.” Mark 14:71-72
The second crowing of the rooster denotes a New Beginning for Peter. This is where he became profoundly aware of the gravity of his personal sin. With the rooster’s second crow, Peter’s heart changed from a mode of self-preservation, to deep remorse over his self-absorption. Sadly, with morning came the end of the Sanhedrin’s search for testimonial evidence. Peter had lost his opportunity to defend Yeshua.
Let’s consider today’s passage as an exhortation: Never be afraid to share your faith, regardless of social, economic, or personal consequences. Everyday is a new beginning, and presents us with myriads of opportunities to debunk the world’s testimony against Messiah! Also, remember we serve a Messiah who knows our shortcomings, sees them before they happen, intercedes for us and is faithful and just to forgive.
~Steve Wiggins, Assistant Rabbi
Daily Devotional, Friday, May 31, 2013