Mark 14:72
And just then, the rooster crowed a second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times." And he broke down and wept.
Sermons
Blotting OutDr. Alexander Maclaren.Mark 14:72
Fountains of Repentant TearsC. H. Spurgeon.Mark 14:72
How to Act in Bad CompanyDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:72
Peter Goes OutDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:72
Peter's Life-Long RepentanceThomas Brooks.Mark 14:72
Peter's RecoveryF. Skerry.Mark 14:72
Peter's RepentanceDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:72
Reasons for Avoiding Evil CompanyDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:72
RecollectionR. Cecil.Mark 14:72
Tears of RepentanceArchbishop Secker.Mark 14:72
The Fall of St. PeterFrancis Wayland.Mark 14:72
Times for Calling Sins to MindGeorge Petter.Mark 14:72
True ContritionSpurgeon.Mark 14:72
True PenitenceThe Weekly PulpitMark 14:72
Washing with TearsS. Clark.Mark 14:72
Peter's FallR. Green Mark 14:27-31, 66-72
The Denial by PeterJ.J. Given Mark 14:53-72
Peter Denying ChristA.F. Muir Mark 14:54, 66-72
Extremes Meet in CharacterE. Johnson Mark 14:66-72
Danger of One False StepS. Baring Gould, M. A.Mark 14:68-72
Difficult to Quit Bad CompanyDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
Discrepancies in the Narratives of the Evangelists May be HarmonizedH. M. Luckock, D. D.Mark 14:68-72
Fall and RestorationDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
Godly Company the BestDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
How We are to Show Love to a FriendDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
It is Hard to Confess Christ in DangerDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
Lying a Slough of DespondFrancis Jacox.Mark 14:68-72
Peter Denies His LordC. S. Robinson, D. D.Mark 14:68-72
Peter's DegenerationDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
Peter's DenialT. J. Holmes.Mark 14:68-72
Peter's Denial of JesusCharles Stanford, D. D.Mark 14:68-72
Peter's Second Denial of ChristDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
Reasons for Avoiding Evil CompanyDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
St. Peter's FallW. Denton, M. A.Mark 14:68-72
The Corrupting Influence of Bad CompanyDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
The DenierJ. J. Davies.Mark 14:68-72
The Fall of PeterR. Glover.Mark 14:68-72
The Foulness of Peter's SinDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
The Heinousness of Peter's Third DenialDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
The Porch of SinDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
To Avoid Sin, Avoid OccasionsDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
To Avoid Sin, Keep Close to God's WordDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
Why Christians are Allowed to FallGeorge Petter.Mark 14:68-72
Why God Did not Prevent Peter's FallDr. Thomas Taylor.Mark 14:68-72
This chapter is crowded with contrasts.

1. The unmeasured love of Mary of Bethany shines radiantly beside the unexampled treachery of Judas Iscariot.

2. Contrasts occur also in the experience of our Lord. He passes from the fellowship of the upper room to the solitude of Gethsemane; from the secrecy of prayer to the publicity of a mock-trial before his foes.

3. There are also great changes visible in the spiritual condition of certain disciples. Judas appears amongst the chosen disciples, listening to the Master's words and eating at the same table with him; and a few hours after he is seen at the head of a band of ruffians, betraying his Lord with a traitorous kiss. Peter, in the garden, starts forth as a hero in defense of his Master; but in the palace of the high priest, with trembling heart, denies all knowledge of him. To this last scene our text points us. (Describe it.)

I. THAT THERE ARE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THE CAUSE OF CHRIST'S AROUSES UNCOMPROMISING HOSTILITY. Peter was experiencing this in the palace of Caiaphas.

1. Paganism was instinctively hostile to Christ's teaching. Far-seeing men amongst the Gentiles soon saw its drift. They spoke of the apostles, not inaptly, as men who would turn the world upside down. Christ's doctrine of brotherhood would be the destroyer of slavery. His inculcation of purity and righteousness threatened licentious pleasures and tyrannous exactions. Men who could win high positions by force or fraud, and immoral people, who loved brutal or sensual amusements, would unite in antagonism to the Christian faith. Some would hate it the more intensely because their worldly interests were associated with the continuance of paganism. Many a Demetrius saw that his craft was in danger, and priests, with their crowds of attendants, would contend zealously for the idolatry which gave them their living. They would have granted Christ Jesus a niche in their Pantheon; but his followers claimed that he should reign supreme and alone.

2. The Jews, however, were the first instigators of opposition. Christianity threatened to destroy their national supremacy by inviting the Gentiles to all the privileges of the kingdom of God. They hated a Messiah who came not to deliver them from political bondage, but from their own prejudices and sins.

3. Heathenism in our own day, whether at home or abroad, is at enmity with Christ. The vicious, who live to gratify their passions, the worldly, who would make this life their all, as well as the idolaters in distant lands, hate the teachings of our Lord.

4. Even in nominally Christian society there is sometimes seen an ill-suppressed dislike to earnest fidelity to Christ's cause.

II. THAT A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST, IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, MEETS WITH A TEST OF HIS MORAL COURAGE. We all appreciate the heroism of the apostles, who, with their lives in their hands, witnessed for their Lord before Jews and pagans, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for his sake. Equal courage is occasionally exhibited lives which are unromantic and prosaic, which endure each day the bitterness of scorn and shame,

1. Sometimes a Christian shows heroism by speech. Profanity is thus rebuked, slander is silenced, impurity is indignantly reproved, and the cause of Christ defended against mockery. It is well when this can be done without any sign of a Pharisaic spirit or of a censorious temper; so that from the tone of the defense the godless are compelled to say, "These men have been with Jesus, and have learnt of him."

2. Silence may also be on occasion the display of courage. If one, by reason of youth or sex, cannot speak, witness may be borne by quitting the scene where Christ is dishonored. The responsibility for witness-bearing is the heavier in proportion to the weight of our influence. The effect of Peter's denial was the greater because he was like a standard-bearer in the army of Christ. Even although his testimony might not have changed the opinion of one in the crowd around him, he was none the less bound to give it; and our Lord was grieved because he withheld it.

III. THAT VERY TRIVIAL THINGS MAY SOMETIMES REVEAL ASSOCIATION WITH JESUS CHRIST. Peter had no expectation of being discovered. He was a stranger; the crowd was large, and the excitement great; it was dark, and attention seemed centred in Christ Jesus, to the exclusion of all beside. A question unexpectedly put necessitated an answer, and his rough Galilean brogue increased the suspicion to a certainty that he was a peasant who had come up with Jesus from Galilee, and was intimate enough with him to know of his secret and sudden arrest.

1. Even the nominal connection with Christ which we all have as Englishmen is betrayed by speech in foreign parts; and how often is the work of our missionaries hindered there by dishonest traders, or profligate sailors and soldiers, who are supposed to be "Christians," but who by word and act deny the Lord!

2. Others, who have been under direct Christian influences in their homes, are sometimes tempted, at school or in business, to keep that fact secret, as if it were something to be ashamed of. But when some small phrase or act unexpectedly betrays the truth, and one of those standing by says, "Surely thou art one of them,... thy speech agreeth thereto," then comes the crisis, the turningpoint, on which the whole future will hinge. Happy is it if then they are saved from Peter's fail!

3. Occasionally those who are devout disciples wish, like Nicodemus, to remain secretly so. They wish to avoid all responsibility, and therefore make no profession of their love. Little do they suspect how many are discouraged by their failure to avow their loyalty to their Lord. Let all our influence everywhere be consecrated to him.

CONCLUSION. The hall of judgment is still standing. Christ Jesus is being examined and questioned now by men who resent his claims. Still we hear the cry, "Prophesy! who is it that smote thee? Tell us something new. Work some miracle now, that we may believe thee." And to it all Jesus answers nothing. His Church is keeping close beside him, as John did, and is glad to share his reproach. But many are like Peter; they have followed afar off, so that the world should not notice them. They would not be so near as they are, but that others have led them, as John led his brother apostle. Yet, after all their friends have done, they are still outside, in the courtyard, among the foes of their Lord. They hope that all will end well; they dare not help in the conflict, so they keep far enough away to retain their popularity, and yet to see the end. As the light of the fire revealed Peter, as his speech further betrayed him, so something has called attention to these, and companions begin to say, "Surely thou art one of them." What shall the answer be? Shall it be, "I know him not;" or shall it be, "Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee"? - A.R.







And Peter called to mind the word.
That the cock crew again was an ordinary and natural thing, but at this time ordained for a special end.

1. To put Peter in mind of his promise.

2. To bear witness to the words of Christ, which Peter will not, till now, believe to be true.

3. To reprove Peter of His sin.

4. To accuse Peter to his own conscience. He needs the voice of a cock to help him out of his sin! He is admonished by this voice, that the silly cock kept his watch, according to the word of his Creator; but Peter has not kept his watch with his Lord, but fearfully fallen in his station.

I. THE TIME OF PETER'S REPENTANCE. "Then." The fittest time for repentance is immediately after the sin, without delay.

1. Consider the exhortation in Hebrews 3:7. Hast thou a lease of thy life till tomorrow, that thou refusest to repent today?

2. Sin gets strength by continuance.

3. Nature teaches in other things to take the fittest season; to sow in seed time, to make hay while the sun shines, to take wind and tide which wait for no man. Let grace teach thee to know thy season, thy day of visitation.

4. Late repentance is seldom true repentance.

II. THE MEANS OF PETER'S REPENTANCE.

1. External.

(1)The crowing of the cock.

(2)The looking back of Christ.

2. Internal.

(1)Remembering the Lord's words.

(2)Weighing the Lord's words.

(Dr. Thomas Taylor.)

Peter went out —

1. In respect of the place. The hall and the porch were no places of safety or tranquility, but full of danger and fear and tumult, and no fit place for meditation.

2. In respect of the company. He sees that the longer he stays among wicked men, the more sins he heaps up against the Lord, and against his own conscience, and therefore he sees it high time to be gone.

3. In respect of the business in hand. He is to bewail his sin, to weep bitterly, to get out of himself; and to do this, he must be alone with God.

(Dr. Thomas Taylor.)

1. He that will cleave to God, must sever from God's enemies. The same grace that binds us to God, looses us from the wicked. Solitariness is better than bad company.

2. What comfort can a sheep have among a herd of swine, which wallow and tumble in foul lusts? or a silly dove among a company of ravens? How can a good heart but grieve in their society whose sports and pleasures are in such things as only grieve the Spirit of God? How can a Christian solace himself among such as care for none but brutish delights, in eating, drinking, sporting, gaming, attended with swearing, railing, drunkenness, and idleness?

3. What safety among evil men, whether we respect themselves or their practices? For themselves, they are so poisonful, so infectious, that we can hardly participate with them in good things and not be defiled. For their practices, how just is it if we join ourselves in their sins, that we should not be disjoined in their judgments!

4. This has been the practice of the godly (Psalm 26:4).

(Dr. Thomas Taylor.)

If we fall among, or be cast into bad company —

1. Let us not fashion ourselves to them.

2. Consider who thou art — a disciple, separated by grace — a son of God.

3. Look upon ungodly examples to detest them, to grieve at the dishonour of God, to grieve at the wickedness of man made in God's image.

4. See them, to stop them if possible. If there be hope of doing good, admonish them. Warn them of the wrath of God, coming on those who do such things. Win them, and pray for them and their amendment.

5. If their be no hope of winning them, yet by thy godly carriage convince them, check them, confute, shut their mouths. Let thy light shine in spite of their darkness, to glorify thy Father; and at least let them see thy watch end godly care to preserve thyself from their contagion.

(Dr. Thomas Taylor.)

We ought to take all occasions offered to think of our sins, and to be stirred up to humiliation and repentance for them. Especially, for example —

1. When in the public ministry of the Word we hear such sins reproved as we are guilty of.

2. When we come to Holy Communion.

3. When we read the Scriptures, or hear them read.

4. When we are privately admonished of our sins, either by the ministers of God, or by any other that have a calling to do it.

5. When God lays upon us any grievous affliction or chastisement; such as sickness, loss of goods, loss of near friends by death, etc. When we either see or hear of the judgments of God inflicted upon others for sin.

(George Petter.)

Repentance is wrought by the Spirit of God. But he works it in us by leading us to think upon the evil of sin. Peter could not help weeping when he remembered his grievous fault. Let us at this time —

I. STUDY PETER'S CASE AND USE IT FOR OUR OWN INSTRUCTION.

1. He considered that he had denied his Lord. Have we never done the like? It may be done in various ways.

2. He reflected upon the excellence of the Lord whom he had denied.

3. He remembered the position in which his Lord had placed him — making him an apostle, and one of the first of them. Have we not been placed in positions of trust?

4. He bethought him of the special intercourse which he had enjoyed. Have not we known joyous fellowship with our Lord?

5. He recollected that he had been solemnly forewarned by his Lord. Have not we sinned against light and knowledge?

6. He recalled his own vows, pledges, and boasts. Have we not broken very earnest declarations?

7. He thought upon the special circumstances of his Lord when he had so wickedly denied Him. Are there no aggravations in our case?

8. He revolved in his mind his repetitions of the offence, and those repetitions with added aggravations: lie, oath, etc. We ought to dwell on each item of our transgressions, that we may be brought to a more thorough repentance of them.

II. STUDY OUR OWN LIVES AND USE THE STUDY FOR OUR FURTHER HUMILIATION.

1. Think upon our transgressions while unrepentant.

2. Think upon our resistance of light, and conscience, and the Holy Spirit, before we were overcome by Divine grace.

3. Think upon our small progress in the Divine life.

4. Think upon our backslidings and heart wanderings.

5. Think upon our neglect of the souls of others.

6. Think upon our little communion with our Lord.

7. Think upon the little glory we are bringing to His great name.

8. Think upon our matchless obligations to His infinite love. Each of these meditations is calculated to make us weep.

III. STUDY THE EFFECT OF THESE THOUGHTS UPON OUR OWN MINDS.

1. Can we think of these things with. out emotion? This is possible; for many excuse their sin on the ground of their circumstances, constitution, company, trade, fate: they even lay the blame on Satan, or some other tempter. Certain hard hearts treat the matter with supreme indifference. This is perilous. It is to be feared that such a man is not Peter, but Judas; not a fallen saint, but a son of perdition.

2. Are we moved by thoughts of these things? There are other reflections which may move us far more. Our Lord forgives us, and numbers us with His brethren. He asks us if we love Him, and He bids us feed His sheep, Surely, when we dwell on these themes, it must be true of each of us — "When he thought thereon, he wept."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Peter's recollection of what he had formerly heard was another occasion of his repentance. We do not sufficiently consider how much more we need recollection than information. We know a thousand things, but it is necessary that they should be kept alive in our hearts by constant and vivid recollection. It is, therefore, extremely absurd and childish for people to say, "You tell me nothing but what I know." I answer, You forget many things, and, therefore, it is necessary that line should be upon line, and precept upon precept. Peter himself afterwards said in his Epistle, "I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them." We are prone to forget what we do know; whereas we should consider that, whatever good thing we know is only so far good to us as it is remembered to purpose.

(R. Cecil.)

Peter falls dreadfully, but by repentance rises sweetly; a look of love from Christ melts him into tears. He knew that repentance was the key to the kingdom of grace. At once his faith was so great that he leaped, as it were, into a sea of waters to come to Christ; so now his repentance was so great that he leaped, as it were, into a sea of tears, for that he had gone from Christ. Some say that, after his sad fall, he was ever and anon weeping, and that his face was even furrowed with continual tears. He had no sooner taken its poison but he vomited it up again, ere it got to the vitals; he had no sooner handled this serpent but he turned it into a rod, to scourge his soul with remorse for sinning against such clear light, and strong love, and sweet discoveries of the heart of Christ to him. Clement notes that Peter so repented that, all his life alter, every night when he heard the cock crow, he would fall upon his knees, and, weeping bitterly, would beg pardon for his sin. Ah! souls, you can easily sin as the saints, but can you repent with the saints? Many can sin with David and Peter, who cannot repent with David and Peter, and so must perish forever.

(Thomas Brooks.)

Nothing will make the faces of God's children more fair than for them to wash themselves every morning in their tears.

(S. Clark.)

A saint's tears are better than a sinner's triumphs. Bernard saith, "The tears of penitents are the wine of angels."

(Archbishop Secker.)

"And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept."

I. THE FIRST ERROR OF THE APOSTLE WAS CONFIDENCE IN THE STRENGTH OF HIS OWN VIRTUE, FOLLOWED BY ITS NATURAL RESULT — THE WANT OF WATCHFULNESS. This was the commencement of his aberration, and the origin of all his subsequent sorrow. Our only strength is in humble and earnest reliance upon the grace of Christ. It is rare that an humble and watchful soul is overcome by temptation. Temptations are seldom nearer than when we suppose them most distant. If we commit our way unto the Lord, He will direct our steps.

II. THE FIRST SINFUL ACT OF PETER AROSE FROM VAINGLORY. He wished to make a display of his courage. One extreme is always liable to be succeeded by its opposite. Rashness is naturally followed by cowardice. He who smote off the servant's ear was seen, in a few minutes, hiding himself in the darkness among the trees of the garden.

III. THE VACILLATION OF PETER PRODUCED ITS NATURAL RESULT — INSUFFICIENT AND UNDECIDED REPENTANCE. He could not forsake his Master entirely. He dared not openly confess his fault, and meet the consequences of doing right. He followed Christ afar off. Thus difficult is it to do right, after we have once commenced the doing of wrong. A course only half-way right is as perilous a one as can be chosen. Nothing could have restored to Peter the moral courage of innocence, but going at once to Christ, confessing his sin, and avowing his attachment, no matter what the avowal might have cost him. We may be surprised into sin. Our only safety consists in forsaking it immediately. It we hesitate, our conscience will become defiled, and our resolution weakened. It is also of the utmost importance that our reformation be bold, manly, and entire.

IV. PETER HEARD JESUS FALSELY ACCUSED, AND HE UTTERED NOT A WORD IN HIS DEFENCE. He was the friend and the witness of Christ. It was his duty to act, and to act promptly. By quietly looking on, when he ought to have acted, Peter prepared himself for all the guilt and misery that ensued. Hence let us learn the danger of being found in any company in which the cause of Christ is liable to be treated with indignity. If we enter such company from choice we are accessory to the breaking of Christ's commandments. If our lawful duties call us into society, where the name of Christ is not revered, we can never remain in it innocently for a moment, unless we promptly act as disciples of Christ.

V. PETER ATTEMPTED TO ESCAPE FROM THE EMBARRASSMENTS OF HIS SITUATION BY EQUIVOCATION. "I know not," said he, "nor understand what thou sayest." This only in the end rendered his embarrassment the more inextricable. Let this part of the history teach us the importance of cultivating, on all occasions, the habit of bold and transparent veracity. Equivocation is always a sort of moral absurdity. It is an attempt to make a lie answer the purpose of the truth. He who does this when his attachment to Christ is called in question has already fallen. He denies his Lord in the sight of his all-seeing Judge, though his cowardice will not permit him to do it openly. The man who has gone thus far will soon be brought into circumstances which will openly reveal his guilt.

VI. PETER WAS RAPIDLY LED ON TO THE COMMISSION OF CRIMES IN THEMSELVES MOST ABHORRENT TO HIS NATURE, AND CRIMES OF WHICH, AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF HIS WRONG-DOING, NEITHER HE NOR ANY ONE ELSE WOULD HAVE BELIEVED HIM CAPABLE. He began by nothing more guilty than self-confidence and the want of watchfulness. He ended with shameless and repeated lying — the public denial of his Master, accompanied by the exhibition of frantic rage, and the uttering of oaths and blasphemy in the hearing of all Jerusalem. Thus, step after step, he plunged headlong into more and more atrocious guilt, until, without the power of resistance, he surrendered himself up to do the whole will of the adversary of souls.

(Francis Wayland.)

When King Henry II, in the ages gone by, was provoked to take up arms against his ungrateful and rebellious son, he besieged him in one of the French towns, and the son being near to death, desired to see his father, and confess his wrong-doing; but the stern old sire refused to look the rebel in the face. The young man, being sorely troubled in his conscience, said to those about him, "I am dying; take me from my bed, and let me lie in sackcloth and ashes, in token of my sorrow for my ingratitude to my father." Thus he died; and when the tidings came to the old man, outside the walls, that his boy had died in ashes, repentant for his rebellion, he threw himself upon the earth, like another David, and said, "Would God I had died for him." The thought of his boy's broken heart touched the heart of the father.

(Spurgeon.)

I. LET NO CHRISTIAN RELY ON HIS DISPOSITION OR FEELING FOR SAFETY FROM FALLING. Virtues lean towards their vices: liberty to license; liberality to waste. And when we see only our virtues, others see only our vices.

II. LET NO CHRISTIAN RELY UPON HIS PAST CONDUCT AS A SAFEGUARD. Peter had been nearest of all the disciples to Christ for three years. He had deep and pure affection.

III. LET NO CHRISTIAN PRESUME TO TRUST IN CONSCIENCE TO KEEP HIM RIGHT IN THE HOUR OF DANGER. There are many moral forces which hinder conscience. The danger of Peter had been distinctly pointed out.

IV. FROM THIS EXAMPLE LEARN TO REALIZE THE BITTER MEMORY OF GOOD WORDS WHICH COME TOO LATE. The great regrets of life consist in the memory of graces which might have made us good, but which we have neglected. And oh how awful is this bitterness!

(F. Skerry.)

The Weekly Pulpit.
The naturally warm and impetuous temperament is liable to extremes under the pressure of circumstances. This tendency to vacillation can only be corrected by a severe trial. There is one sentence in the history which shows that Peter began the downward course when he followed afar off. Had he been close to the Master's side all through the trial his courage would have stood the strain. The florist who forgot to close the skylights of his conservatory, saw his rare plants withered by the frost of the night. So the warm heart of the Christian can only live in the warmth of Divine love.

I. EVERY SIN IS IN THE FACE OF WARNING. Where there is no law there is no sin, and where there is no warning the transgression is more excusable.

II. EVERY SIN IN THE FACE OF WARNING AWAKENS A PAINFUL REFLECTION. It is not enough that sin is denounced by justice, and that warning is added to the denunciation; we must be brought into a state of observation and reflection in which to have a deep insight into the nature and consequences of sin. The very painful part of this state is the reappearance of the discarded warning. The mercy of God came to the apostle through a very humble channel; and how often we are awakened to reflection by unimportant incidents! God has blessed the tick of the clock, and the falling of a leaf, to rouse in man's breast a sense of responsibility. A thousand voices in nature call us to reflection, but sometimes a simple incident in daily life has done so more effectually. The hard-hearted father who had listened to remonstrance and warning for many a year, was at last touched. He had heard most of the temperance orators of the day, but he continued the drink. One Sunday afternoon he took his little girl to the Sunday school, intending himself to go after more drink. At the door of the school house he put the child down from his arms, but observed that tears started into her eyes. "Why do you cry?" he asked. The little one sobbed out her answer, "Because you go to public house, and frighten us when you come home." It was enough. He never entered a public house again. God can bless simple means to reach great ends. The narrative states, "The Lord turned and looked upon Peter." Nothing can hide us from the Saviour's view. It was a living and a life-giving look. It brought back moral sensibility. The living heart of Jesus travelled through that look to the cold heart of Peter. He was moved by it to reflection. The look spurned the offence but recalled the offender. It was a magnet, with both a negative and a positive pole. It repelled sin, but attracted the sinner. There is mercy in God's rebuke, and an invitation in His warning. The road back to rectitude, to truth, to honesty, to moral courage, and to discipleship was a thorny one.

III. EVERY SIN WHICH AWAKENS A PAINFUL REFLECTION LEANS TO TRUE PENITENCE. "And when he thought thereon, he wept."

1. His repentance was genuine. St. Matthew says, "He went out and wept bitterly." His spirit was broken and his heart contrite.

2. His penitence was effective. He was led to see the error, and to feel the power of forgiveness. Here is an illustration of the power of thought — dive to the depths of sin and rise to the lights of peace.

(The Weekly Pulpit.)

The old Greeks thought that memory must be a source of torture in the next world, so they interposed between the two worlds the waters of Lethe, the river of forgetfulness; but believers in Christ want no river of oblivion on the borders of Elysium. Calvary is on this side, and that is enough.

(Dr. Alexander Maclaren.).

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