John 18:27
Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
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(27) And immediately the cock crew.—Better, . . . a cock crew. (Comp. Matthew 26:74, and (on the whole question of the denial, Notes to Matthew 26:69-74.)

18:13-27 Simon Peter denied his Master. The particulars have been noticed in the remarks on the other Gospels. The beginning of sin is as the letting forth of water. The sin of lying is a fruitful sin; one lie needs another to support it, and that another. If a call to expose ourselves to danger be clear, we may hope God will enable us to honour him; if it be not, we may fear that God will leave us to shame ourselves. They said nothing concerning the miracles of Jesus, by which he had done so much good, and which proved his doctrine. Thus the enemies of Christ, whilst they quarrel with his truth, wilfully shut their eyes against it. He appeals to those who heard him. The doctrine of Christ may safely appeal to all that know it, and those who judge in truth bear witness to it. Our resentment of injuries must never be passionate. He reasoned with the man that did him the injury, and so may we.See the notes at Matthew 26:72-74. 27. Peter then denied again—But, if the challenge of Malchus' kinsman was made simultaneously with this on account of his Galilean dialect, it was no simple denial; for Mt 26:74 says, "Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man." So Mr 14:71. This was THE THIRD DENIAL.

and immediately—"while he yet spake" (Lu 22:60).

the cock crew—As Mark is the only Evangelist who tells us that our Lord predicted that the cock should crow twice (Mr 14:30), so he only mentions that it did crow twice (Mr 14:72). The other Evangelists, who tell us merely that our Lord predicted that "before the cock should crow he would deny Him thrice" (Mt 26:34; Lu 22:34; Joh 13:38), mention only one actual crowing, which was Mark's last. This is something affecting in this Evangelist—who, according to the earliest tradition (confirmed by internal evidence), derived his materials so largely from Peter as to have been styled his "interpreter," being the only one who gives both the sad prediction and its still sadder fulfilment in full. It seems to show that Peter himself not only retained through all his after-life the most vivid recollection of the circumstances of his fall, but that he was willing that others should know them too. The immediately subsequent acts are given in full only in Luke (Lu 22:61, 62): "And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter," from the hall of judgment to the court, in the way already explained. But who can tell what lightning flashes of wounded love and piercing reproach shot from that "look" through the eye of Peter into his heart! "And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny Me thrice. And Peter went out and wept bitterly." How different from the sequel of Judas' act! Doubtless the hearts of the two men towards the Saviour were perfectly different from the first; and the treason of Judas was but the consummation of the wretched man's resistance of the blaze of light in the midst of which he had lived for three years, while Peter's denial was but a momentary obscuration of the heavenly light and love to his Master which ruled his life. But the immediate cause of the revulsion, which made Peter "weep bitterly," was, beyond all doubt, this heart-piercing "look" which his Lord gave him. And remembering the Saviour's own words at the table, "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you that he may sift you as wheat, but I have prayed [rather, 'I prayed'] for thee that thy faith fail not" (see on [1901]Lu 22:31, 32), may we not say that this prayer fetched down all that there was in that 'look' to pierce and break the heart of. Peter, to keep it from despair, to work in it "repentance unto salvation not to be repented of," and at length, under other healing touches, to "restore his soul?" (See on [1902]Mr 16:7).

See Poole on "John 18:25"

Peter then denied again,.... A third time, as the Ethiopic version renders it; and that, according to other evangelists, with cursing and swearing; for now he was more affrighted than before, lest should he be taken up, and it be proved upon him, that he was the person that cut off Malchus's ear, he should be sentenced to a fine, or it may be some capital punishment. The fine for plucking a man's ears, and which some understand of plucking them off, was four hundred "zuzim" (s), or, pence; which, as they answer to Roman pence, amount to twelve pounds ten shillings; a sum of money Peter perhaps could not have raised, without great difficulty: and therefore, that it might be believed he was not a disciple of Christ, so not the man; he swears in a profane manner, and imprecates the judgments of God upon him:

and immediately the cock crew; the second time; which was a signal by which he might call to remembrance, what Christ had said to him; that before the cock crowed twice, he should deny him thrice, Mark 14:72. It was now early in the morning, about three o'clock, or somewhat after.

(s) Misn. Bava Kama, c. 8, sect. 6. Vid. L'Empereur in ib.

Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
John 18:27. Πάλιν οὖνἐφώνησεν … A cock crew, the dawn approaching, and the warning of John 13:38 was fulfilled. See on John 13:38.

27. Peter then denied again] Again therefore (John 18:3) Peter denied; because he had denied before. S. John, like S. Luke, omits the oaths and curses (Mark 14:71; Matthew 26:73). We may believe that S. Peter himself through S. Mark was the first to include this aggravation of his guilt in the current tradition.

the cock crew] Rather, a cock crew. In none of the gospels is there the definite article which our translation inserts. This was the second crowing (Mark 14:72). A difficulty has been made here because the Talmud says that fowls, which scratch in dunghills, are unclean. But (1) the Talmud is inconsistent on this point with itself; (2) not all Jews would be so scrupulous as to keep no fowls in Jerusalem; (3) certainly the Romans would care nothing about such scruples.

Just as the Evangelist implies (John 18:11), without mentioning, the Agony in the garden, so he implies (John 21:15), without mentioning, the repentance of S. Peter. The question has been raised, why he narrates S. Peter’s fall, which had been thrice told already. There is no need to seek far-fetched explanations, as that “there might be contained in it some great principle or prophetic history, and perhaps both: some great principle to be developed in the future history of the Church, or of S. Peter’s Church.” Rather, it is part of S. John’s own experience which falls naturally into the scope and plan of his Gospel, setting forth on the one side the Divinity of Christ, on the other the glorification of His manhood through suffering. Christ’s foreknowledge of the fall of His chief apostle (John 13:38) illustrated both: it was evidence of His Divinity (comp. John 2:24-25), and it intensified His suffering. S. John, therefore, gives both the prophecy and the fulfilment. It has been noticed that it is “S. Peter’s friend S. John, who seems to mention most what may lessen the fault of his brother apostle;” that servants and officers were about him; that in the second case he was pressed by more than one; and that on the last occasion a kinsman of Malchus was among his accusers, which may greatly have increased Peter’s terror. Moreover, this instance of human frailty in one so exalted (an instance which the life of the great Exemplar Himself could not afford), is given us with fourfold emphasis, that none may presume and none despair.

On the difficulties connected with the four accounts of S. Peter’s denials see Appendix B.

John 18:27. Ἐφώνησεν, crew) Concerning the repentance of Peter, John takes for granted those particulars which the other evangelists record. Add ch. John 20:2-3 [which presupposes his repentance].

John 18:27The cock crew

The Greek has not the definite article. See on Matthew 26:34. The use of the article would seem to mark the time, cock-crowing, rather than the incident.

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