Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mark 14:66-72 comments: Are you warming your hands over the devil's fire?

66 ¶  And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: 67  And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68  But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew.


In opposition to nearly two millennia of Byzantine manuscripts, vernacular Bible versions, and the KJV given by inspiration of God, the modern versions, based on the two corrupt manuscripts of Alexandria whose names you all know by now, delete, “and the cock crew,” from verse 68.


Luke 22:61 adds that Christ looked on Peter.


61  And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.


Think about this. Peter is warming his hands over the devil’s fire. He has placed himself in the position where the chance to deny his Lord presents itself. Have you? Are you warming your hands over the devil’s fire in your manner of employment, in your entertainments, or your hobbies, or the company you keep? Will Christ cast a glance at you one day while you’re at a NASCAR race with a huge beer in your hand and will you turn away and say you don’t know Him? Will He look your way while you’re playing Texas Holdem with your pals, telling dirty jokes, and smoking like Kaiser Steel and will you turn away and deny that you know Him? Will you be socializing with high-brow friends with several letters after their names who don't believe what you do only to deny you know Christ when His gaze rests upon you?


69  And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them.

70  And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. 71  But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak.


Once again, our modern versions, based mainly on the Alexandrian manuscripts of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus undercut another verse. Verse 70, in these versions, removes “and thy speech agreeth thereto,” which shows they knew Peter’s dialect.


Peter is with the wrong crowd. He has the wrong attitude. Now, he has gone so far to curse and swear. He has denied Christ. It doesn’t take much to go back to sins that he once held. Perhaps he hadn’t swore like a fisherman does for three and a half years.


72  And the second time the cock crew. 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.


What will it take for you to deny Christ? Hanging out with the wrong crowd? Losing control of your emotions? Lying? How often, Christian, have you denied Christ with your behavior?


As mentioned previously, in Luke 22 we are told of another signal that gets to him besides Christ’s prophecy. At that point Peter sees Christ, who is looking at him.


Peter’s victory is his repentance. He wept. See John 21:15 to see the related conversation with the post-resurrection Christ.

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