And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.…
I. PETER'S REPENTANCE.
1. The repentance of Peter is ascribed, in the first instance, to a circumstance apparently unimportant. The crowing of a cock. How observant then ought we to be o! all which surrounds or befals us; and how anxious to obtain from it instruction in righteousness!
2. The text ascribes it also to the interposition of Christ. Without this, the warning voice of the cock would have been heard in vain.
3. But what followed the look which the compassionate Saviour directed towards His fallen apostle? It was a look of the mildest reproof and the tenderest pity, but the lightning's flash could not have done more. Piercing his heart, it produced there that serious reflection from which his contrition sprung.
II. PETER'S SORROW.
1. His sorrow was of a softening nature. "He wept." It was not that horror of soul, which has its origin solely in fear, and leaves the heart as hard as it finds it. It was the sorrow which springs from love, and fill the breast with the tenderest emotions, while it disquiets and humbles it.
2. But the sorrow of Peter was acute, as well as softening. He not only wept, but he wept" bitterly." And bitterly does every sinner weep, who really bewails his transgressions.
3. The sorrow of Peter was, further, a secret sorrow; a grief which sought retirement. "He went out" when he wept. Not that he was now afraid to acknowledge Christ, or unwilling to condemn himself for the crime which he had committed; but like penitent Ephraim, "he was ashamed, yea, even confounded"; and he sought where to give vent to his sorrow unseen, and to implore undisturbed that mercy which he so greatly needed. And every real penitent is often "sitting alone." Flying from scenes of vanity which he once loved, and from society which his folly once enlivened, he retires to his closet, and there, when he has shut his door, he communes with his heart, prays to his offended Father, and weeps.
III. WHAT EFFECTS PETER'S REPENTANCE AFTERWARDS PRODUCED.
1. An increasing love for his Lord.
2. Greater zeal and boldness in the service of Christ.
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.