What Do You Think of When You Hear a Rooster?

One morning when I was in Jerusalem, I chose to have my devotions on the Mount of Olives at sunrise. Making my way through the Old City’s dark and narrow streets, I passed beside the Temple Mount and exited the city on its east side.

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives

(Photo: Overlooking Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives. Photo: צולם ע, via Wikimedia Commons)

After climbing the steep ascent of the Mount of Olives, I sat near its summit as the sun began to warm my back. Turning to Matthew’s Gospel, I read about Jesus leaving the Temple, predicting its destruction, and sitting on the Mount of Olives (Matthew 24:1–5).

Looking across the Kidron Valley at the Temple Mount—now crowned with a Muslim shrine—I thought about how Jesus’ prediction proved true. Because Israel rejected Him, they ultimately lost the very objects they hoped to secure through His death—their Temple and their nation (John 11:48).

Suddenly I heard a sound that jerked my mind in another direction.

rooster

(Photo: By Fernando de Sousa from Melbourne, Australia. Standing Tall. CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Good Morning, Mr. Rooster

Far in the distance, a rooster crowed. Then then another let loose and screamed at the top of its feathered lungs. Then another.

  • Surrounded by a throng of cries, I immediately thought of Peter, who denied Jesus on an early Jerusalem morning.
  • Then I thought of all of the disciples who deserted Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane, just below me at the base of the Mount of Olives.

Then I thought of myself.

The rooster (weather vane) atop the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu

(Photo: Rooster and weather vane atop the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, Jerusalem)

Sights and Sounds Applied

The sights and sounds flooded my heart that morning.

  • What I saw before me represented Israel’s rejection of Christ. What I heard symbolized Peter’s denial of Christ (Luke 22:60–61).
  • But what I felt within I couldn’t relieve with closed eyes or ears. My sin also put Christ on the cross.

What had started as a simple time of Bible reading and devotions on the Mount of Olives had become very personal.

That rooster crowed for me.

Tell me what you think: What do you think of when you hear a rooster? To leave a comment, just click here.


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This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Going Places with God: A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible.
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