“A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.’ And when he thought about it, he wept.”
Mark 14:72, NKJV

Why the second time around? Had Jesus not told them even that night: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26

Peter missed the first crow because it was not the rooster, but the Holy Spirit who brought Jesus’ words to his remembrance.

But there is a bigger lesson in this flawed attempt by Peter to proclaim Christ to the bitter end. God’s words will come to pass, regardless of our best intentions, our deepest desires and our direst determination to be bold for Christ. The plan could have been different. Jesus could have prophesied that all would forsake Him, except Peter. Instead, the Lord, knew what was necessary not just for Peter, but for every flamboyant follower after him. Jesus had prayed that Peter’s faith not fail when the devil asked to sift him. It was not faith that failed; it was flesh. Peter had to learn the lesson that those who follow Christ can never lean on their own abilities. Peter is left in the echo of the rooster’s crow, weeping bitterly, but broken from the stronghold of self-sufficiency.

When we fail in our bold proclamation to love and serve the Lord, it is likely we have slipped from that place of reliance upon God’s Spirit to the shaky ground of self-sufficiency.

QUESTION: Have you ever tried to follow Christ in your flesh? What did you learn?