And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said to him, Before the cock crow, you shall deny me thrice. And he went out…
St. Peter had become entangled through making one false step. He had never anticipated what happened. He began with half a lie, which he excused as merely a putting aside of uncomfortable and even perilous questions. but the "beginning or evil is as the letting out of water." Soon the tempter plunged poor Peter over head and neck in evasions lyings, cursings, and swearings. Then came the moment when Jesus was passing from the council chamber, and as he passed he turned, and gave Peter a look, only a look, but we can imagine the wealth of pitying that was in the look. It went right home; it recalled warning words; it revealed, as by a lightning flash, the darkness into which Peter had fallen; and he rushed out of the place, and could not restrain the tears that told of bitterest shame and humiliation. What does this penitence tell concerning Peter?
I. HIS SENSITIVENESS. When we see how quickly he responded to Christ's "look," we begin to understand how he came to respond so readily to the peril which the maid's question brought him. He was too sensitive; he responded too soon; he was always in danger of speaking and acting before he had time to criticize his own impressions. There are many among us like him. They feel too soon. They respond too quickly. And they respond to evil suggestion and to calamity as readily as to good and success. We call it highly nervous organization.
II. HIS AFFECTIONATENESS. We must keep in mind how truly he was attached to his Lord; and how open that attachment made him to all influences exerted on him by Christ. It was his safeguard in that sad time, that he had personal love to Christ. That disposition often brings men round right again after they have gone astray. Fathers and mothers know the anchor hold that a child's affectionate disposition gives to them. But there is a gushing and impulsive penitence that is not good. Sometimes there is too easy confession of sin - confession before the really humbling sense of sin is felt. Easy penitence is little more than regret; and it is usually very gushing in expression. Easy penitence has little force on the moral nature. Penitence needs to be made deep and searching by the help of serious thinking. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.