Cock On The Walk

rooster3

Question: How many times did the rooster crow (the term “cock” is used, rather than “rooster”, in the King James Version of the Bible) in regards to the denial of Jesus by Peter the Apostle?

Background: Before Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (leading to the Crucifixion), He foretold (‘prophesied’) that Peter would deny any association with Him 3 separate times before the rooster crowed.

The Gospels according to Matthew, Luke and John all say this equally.

Matthew chapter 26, verse 34:

“Jesus said to him [to Peter], ‘Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.’”

Luke chapter 22, verse 34:

“Jesus said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.'”

John chapter 13, verse 38:

Jesus answered, ‘Will you [Peter] lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.’”

Only the Gospel according to Mark states that the rooster would crow twice before the Apostle Peter would deny his association with Jesus.

Twice as in two separate occasions during the denial episodes.

Mark chapter 14, verse 30:

“And Jesus said to him [to Peter], Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.’”

DILEMMA…

So this information presents a dilemma of sorts. Those adamantly questioning Christianity would be quick to point this out as a contradiction within the Bible, giving an argument to its alleged mythological foundations.

When I am presented with this supposed contradiction, I then point out: “hey, that’s not the worst part: Luke and John have this prophesy spoken while in the ‘upper room’ during the passover celebration, while Matthew and Mark have this prophesy spoken after they had left the ‘upper room’!”

This admission by myself is then looked on with astonishment…

So while they are in an hypnotic state, I subtlety introduce John chapter 21, verse 25: “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

I then parry and pounce (lovingly!) with my flood of theological know how:

(1) Jesus, in fact, gave the denial prophesy TWICE. Twice as in two separate times. Once while in the ‘upper room’ during the passover celebration, and once again after leaving the ‘upper room’ and journeying to the garden.

We know this because Luke and John reported the prophesy as given within the ‘upper room’ directly to Peter (Christ was speaking to Peter directly), where Peter denied its fulfillment.

When Matthew and Mark reference the denial prophesy, the disciples have already left the ‘upper room’ and Jesus makes the proclamation to all of the disciples that they all will be offended by Him. Peter of his own accord then speaks up (obviously still feeling hurt by the denial prophesy earlier while in the ‘upper room’) and publicly denied its fulfillment. THEN Jesus restates the prophesy he gave earlier in the upper room that Peter will deny Him before the rooster crows. At this point Peter denies the accusation once again.

How interesting: Peter, who during the lead up to the Crucifixion, would deny Christ 3 times, just denied the denial prophesy 3 times!

So, we ultimately have each of the Gospel writers referencing the actuality of the denial prophesy, but only choosing to document one of the two occurrences (please read John 21:25 again).

(2) As far as how many times the rooster crowed, Matthew, Luke and John never said the rooster would only crow once. They just documented that before the rooster crows (or the time of the crowing of the roosters) Peter will offer the 3 denials. Sort of like Jesus saying, if He had a watch, “Look Peter, before 6AM you will deny me 3 times.”

However, there is the fact of the other instance of a crowing rooster…

(3) Of the four accounts of the prophesy, only Mark was exact in documenting the process. Which says nothing more than he was being exact. Sort of like Mark and Luke’s account of Jesus healing the withered hand: Mark may reference the act (Mark chapter 3, verse 1), but only Luke (in Luke chapter 6, verse 6) states that it was the right hand. Does Luke’s accuracy mean that the same account in Mark not referencing the exact hand make it a contradiction?

So Mark documented an additional rooster crowing before the normal and regular time of the cacophony of crowing. An errant crowing if you will.

EXTRA CREDIT TO MELT YOUR BRAIN…

Why did Mark use this particularly exact language?

He was not an eyewitness of the event, so how could he know of the additional rooster alarm?

Who was Mark?

Mark’s full name was John Mark (Acts chapter 12, verse 12).

He was the nephew of Barnabas (Colossians chapter 4, verse 10; the same Barnabas who “discovered” Paul the Apostle).

His mother’s name was Mary (Mark chapter 12, verse 12). She had a church that met in her home. (By the way, I find it interesting that some deride Christianity as “anti woman” when in fact Christianity had women leaders within the Church during the time in history when culture, government and EVERY OTHER RELIGION had women regulated to near ‘slave’ status.)

Now, a specific Apostle spoke regularly at her home… who was that Apostle?

It was the Apostle Peter (Acts chapter 12, verses 11-13). So Peter personally knew Mary and her son John Mark. In addition, it was Peter who made John Mark a convert to Christianity (1 Peter chapter 5, verse 13). And we also know that John Mark traveled with Peter during some of his ministry mission trips.

Who better to speak to John Mark concerning the denial prophesy then the gentleman who was there and to whom it was given?

THERE IS MORE…

I believe Peter made special mention of the rooster crowing to Mark.

It is my contention that Christ was making a way for Peter to not totally blow his testimony by giving Peter an opportunity to realize what was happening after the errant rooster crowed before the actual time of the crowing of all the roosters. Christ said, in Luke, while giving him the denial prophecy, “I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.” But, alas, Christ knew what would inevitably happen.

We all know that this course of events crushed Peter. And we know the compassion of Christ to Peter where in John chapter 21, Jesus allowed Peter to declare his love to Him 3 times (as an emotional healing for the 3 denials). And since that time we know the power of the life of the Apostle Peter.

This testimony of Peter was especially powerful to Mark.

You see, Mark made some denials of his own. When Mark traveled with his uncle Barnabas and the Apostle Paul, something happened and Mark left the mission trip and went back home. This was quite unsettling to Paul. (Acts chapter 12, verse 25; chapter 13, verses 5 and 13)

When Barnabas and Paul were gearing up to start another mission campaign, Barnabas wanted to take Mark again, but the Apostle Paul said “NO!” Paul could not trust Mark. Barnabas and Paul argued about it so much that they split up, Paul choosing to travel with Silas from then on. (Acts chapter 15, verse 33-39)

I’m sure the entire situation crushed Mark.

And I am sure that Mark’s father in the Lord, the Apostle Peter, ministered to him through this emotional ordeal. I’m sure Peter recounted his denial of Christ and gave a powerful testimony of coming back to do great and mighty things for Christ regardless of a terrible fall through sin.

So Mark did come back. More powerful than ever.

You see, he traveled in ministry with Barnabas. And he traveled in ministry with Peter. In time he even did work with Paul again; Paul saying of Mark: “Take Mark and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.”

And then Mark did a side project of writing one of the only four Gospel’s of Christ…

REMEMBER…

Remember this: no matter how you have fallen in the past, it can never ultimately become a hindrance to the mighty acts you can perform for Christ in the future.

Thank you, my Lord and my God.

God is Great.

~ Daniel Gabriel