The well-known story of the three denials of Peter concerning knowing Jesus is retold in all four gospels. Peter had told Jesus that he would never deny him. He said even if ‘all of them fall away of account of you, I never will.’ Of course, he does fall away.
The texts say he denied Jesus ‘in front of them all’ which was a very public denunciation, then to a ‘single servant girl’ in the courtyard and then ‘to the others’ around the fire pit in the courtyard. Then the rooster crowed with the blistering sounds of remembrance.
Peter ‘went outside and wept bitterly.’ He remembered the words of Jesus, “Before the cock crows you will disown me three times.”
Many of us have been caught up in these levels of denial: the whole group, a single individual or a small group. Most of us have heard the rooster crow. Like Peter, we have one option: Repent and Return. The Lord forgives the repentant even while it is difficult to get the crowing of the rooster to stop ringing in our ears.
“This very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” Jesus