By Leonard Lauriault
I heard this joke once: Why do preachers eat so much fried chicken? They’re getting even with the rooster for telling on Peter (Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75; John 13:31-38; 18:15-18, 25-27).
I suspect that preachers who eat fried chicken often do so because that’s what their host for the week served for Sunday dinner without realizing that the preacher had probably already been fed chicken by other families for a month of Sundays. Many southern cooks want to blow their own horn about their fried chicken recipe; hence, the plethora of fried chicken restaurant chains.
Anyway, as I was considering that joke, I realized that the rooster really didn’t tell on Peter. God created animals with instincts and set the seasons in which everything natural would take place, including roosters crowing (Genesis 1:1-28; Jeremiah 5:24). He’s also set the timing of some unnatural things, like Jesus’ return (Acts 17:31; Matthew 24:29-36; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). The rooster crowing was going to happen whether or not Peter denied Jesus, but it reminds us that we can’t hide our sins. They’ll all eventually come to light, possibly because of something totally unrelated, if they’re not covered by Jesus’ blood in forgiveness (Numbers 32:23; Hebrews 4:13; 1 Timothy 5:24-25; Revelation 7:14).
Also intriguing is that as soon as the rooster crowed Peter realized the truth of Jesus’ prophecy that he’d deny him three times. Many Old and New Testament prophecies have come true, including those about who Jesus is and the purpose of his life, death, and resurrection (Isaiah 53:1-12; 2 Peter 1:16-21). Because these prophecies have come true, we can know that the prophecies of his return also will come about, including our fate based on our life here (2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10). Basically, if you obey God, you’ll go to heaven; if you don’t obey God, you’ll be eternally punished with torment and separation from him.
Because Peter repented of denying Jesus, as indicated by his immediate weeping and continuing with the other disciples after Jesus’ death and resurrection (unlike Judas who gave up and hanged himself – Matthew 27:1-5), Jesus reinstated Peter. He also does that for us when we repent and seek forgiveness (Acts 2:38-39; 1 John 1:5-9; Psalm 103:11-12).
By the way, when a preacher friend of mine who loved the Colonel’s cooking visited his members, he’d bring a bucket of chicken. Maybe that was his subtle way of letting them know that their fried chicken left something to desired. God has set the recipe for salvation. Any attempt on our part to attain salvation without following his recipe will not achieve the desired goal.
Have you followed God’s recipe by hearing and believing in your heart with repentance the truth that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the dead, confessing with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and calling on his name through Christian baptism (Romans 10:9-17; Acts 22:16)?
If not, what are you waiting for, a rooster to crow? Just don’t wait until the trumpet sounds.
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org