On another day after this Christ was going out, and Knowledge said to Zeal, “This is my day; you went out the last time.” “You will not be able to do as well as I,” protested Zeal. “I will require to go out myself today.” So Zeal went forth with Christ, and when Christ said, “You will all be offended in Me this night,” Zeal answered, “Although all will be offended, yet will not I.” To which Christ replied, “Verily I say unto thee that this day, even in this night, before the cock shall crow twice, that thou shalt deny me thrice.” Zeal came home weeping. “What has happened now?” asked Knowledge. “Woe is me,” said Zeal. “I am demented. The Lord solemnly affirmed that I would deny Him.”
On a third occasion Zeal said, “I will go forth with Christ again.” “No,” said Knowledge, “this is my day.” But Zeal would not listen. Off it set, not simply running, but leaping, and followed the Lord into the Garden of Gethsemane, and when His enemies put their hand on Christ, Zeal stretched forth the hand and drew the sword, and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant. It went into the hall of the high priest, and, on being charged with being with Christ, “I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest,” said Zeal. And after denying Him twice, and the third time with cursing and swearing, Christ turned and looked at Zeal, and Zeal came home, weeping bitterly. “What has happened?” asked Knowledge. “I have done it at last!” said Zeal, shedding bitter tears. “I have denied my Lord three times, and the last time with cursing and swearing.”
“What will you do now?” said Knowledge. “I will make an agreement with you, and promise that I will not go out again without you.” The agreement was kept, and when Zeal went forth again, Knowledge was with it. A great sermon was preached on the day of Pentecost, and, for every time Zeal denied its Lord, a thousand souls were added to the Church.
This sermon illustration was given by Rev Robert Finlayson (1793-1861), godly minister in Aberdeen, Knock, Lochs and Helmsdale, and can be found in Some Noted Ministers of the Northern Highlands by Rev Donald Beaton, available from the FP Bookroom.