Simply by his boldness and loud mouth, Peter seems to be the de facto leader of the disciples. He plays a prominent role in many of the stories of Jesus’ ministry, and obviously made an impression on the Gospel writers. It is likely that he saw himself as the leader, too. I imagine that when he looked in the mirror, he was sure it was Jesus’ right-hand-man looking back at him.
No wonder, then, that Jesus’ warning that all would abandon him struck Peter so hard. He would never do such a thing! But Jesus told Peter that before the rooster crowed in the morning, Peter would have denied him three times. We know Jesus’ prediction came true.
Even if he was Jesus’ right-hand-man, there was a lot about Jesus that Peter simply didn’t grasp. Peter was the one who told Jesus to avoid his own crucifixion. What was it that prevented Peter from accepting Jesus as he was, and resulted in denial? I believe it was Peter’s pride. Peter believed that he knew Jesus already, that he understood everything there was to understand about Jesus, that nobody could be as good a follower of Jesus as he was. Peter was so sure he got it all right, he couldn’t imagine being wrong. But when the time came, Peter’s pride could not cover for his lack of faith.
Does your pride prevent you from listening to Jesus? Are you relying on faith, or on your own abilities and resilience?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive my pride. Forgive me for thinking I know what is best. Teach me to deny myself, take up the cross, and follow you.