|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:69-75 Peter's sin is truly related, for the Scriptures deal faithfully. Bad company leads to sin: those who needlessly thrust themselves into it, may expect to be tempted and insnared, as Peter. They scarcely can come out of such company without guilt or grief, or both. It is a great fault to be shy of Christ; and to dissemble our knowledge of him, when we are called to own him, is, in effect, to deny him. Peter's sin was aggravated; but he fell into the sin by surprise, not as Judas, with design. But conscience should be to us as the crowing of the cock, to put us in mind of the sins we had forgotten. Peter was thus left to fall, to abate his self-confidence, and render him more modest, humble, compassionate, and useful to others. The event has taught believers many things ever since, and if infidels, Pharisees, and hypocrites stumble at it or abuse it, it is at their peril. Little do we know how we should act in very difficult situations, if we were left to ourselves. Let him, therefore, that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall; let us all distrust our own hearts, and rely wholly on the Lord. Peter wept bitterly. Sorrow for sin must not be slight, but great and deep. Peter, who wept so bitterly for denying Christ, never denied him again, but confessed him often in the face of danger. True repentance for any sin will be shown by the contrary grace and duty; that is a sign of our sorrowing not only bitterly, but sincerely.
Verse 75. - Peter remembered the word of Jesus. Simultaneously with the crowing of the cock, the Lord turned round, and from the chamber facing the court looked upon Peter (Luke 22:61), singled him out from all the crowd, showed that amid all his own sufferings and sorrows be had not forgotten his weak apostle. What that look did for Peter we learn by succeeding events; it is for the homilist to expatiate thereon. Christ had prayed for him, and the effect of that prayer was now felt. He went out. From the portico where the denial had taken place; he rushed from that evil company into the night, a broken-hearted man, that no human eye might witness his anguish, that alone with his conscience and God he might wrestle out repentance. Wept bitterly. Tradition asserts that all his life long Peter hereafter never could hear a cock crow without failing on his knees and weeping.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Peter remembered the words of Jesus,.... Forgetfulness of God, of his works, of his words, and of his law, of his revealed mind and will, is often the cause of sin; and a remembrance of things is necessary to the recovery of a fallen or backsliding professor; as, of what he is fallen from, of the love and kindness of God formerly shown to him, of his evil ways and works he is fallen into, and of the words and truths of Christ he has been very indifferent unto and lukewarm about:
which said unto him, before the cock crow, or is done crowing,
thou shalt deny me thrice; which he was put in mind of on hearing the cock crow. So by one means, or another, sometimes by some remarkable providence, and sometimes by the ministry of the word, God is pleased to alarm and awaken sleepy professors, backsliding believers, and remind them of their condition and duty, and restore them by repentance, as he did Peter:
and he went out; of the high priest's palace, either through fear, lest he should be seen weeping, and be suspected; or rather through shame, not being able to continue where his Lord was, when he had so shamefully denied him; as also to leave the company he had got into, being sensible he was wrong in mingling himself with such, and thereby exposed himself to these temptations; as well as to vent his grief in tears privately:
and wept bitterly; being thoroughly sensible what an evil and bitter thing the sin was, he had been guilty of: his repentance sprung from Christ's looking upon him, and from his looking to Jesus, and was truly evangelical: it was a sorrow after a godly sort, and was increased by the discoveries of Christ's love unto him; and was attended with faith in him, and views of pardon through him: the Persic version adds, "and his sin is forgiven"; which, though not in the text, yet is a truth; for Peter's repentance was not like Cain's, nor Esau's, nor Judas's; it was not the repentance of one in despair, but was a repentance unto life and salvation, which needed not to be repented of.
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