In the various Gospel accounts we can piece together a good understanding of Peter’s pride and denial of Christ.
Peter claims a superior moral ground
In the other Gospel accounts Jesus says that all the disciples will forsake Him that evening. Peter says that even if everyone else forsakes Christ, he will remain faithful. In John 21 we can see Jesus addressing this pride issue when He asks Peter if he loves Him more than these. Peter was convinced that he was morally superior to the other disciples.
Peter claims he will not fall
Peter is defiant towards Jesus; he will not fall away. He will not forsake Jesus; he would rather die than forsake Jesus. Peter’s pride is seen here in that Peter does not have a realistic understanding of himself. He has an inflated view of self, which is exactly what pride is.
Peter refuses to see what Jesus says
Jesus continually points out that Peter will forsake Him; however, Peter cannot see this. He is blinded by his pride. All the other disciples are silent when Jesus says that they will forsake Him; they know that what Jesus is saying is a real possibility. Peter cannot have any of that. He must appear righteous at all costs and either ignore or hide his weaknesses.
Pride comes before destruction
Pride is what led to Peter’s denial of Christ. Pride is also what will lead us to fall into sin. Satan will many times give us enough victory to build up our pride so that we will fall. Like Joshua fighting Ai, the devil will allow us to think we have won in order to draw us out in pride (Joshua 8.) In our pride we are defenseless because the Lord resists the proud (James 4:6.) Peter is allowed to fight the guards coming to arrest Jesus in order to build up his pride. You can almost hear Peter looking at Jesus and saying, “See, I told you I wouldn’t forsake you.” However, the man who fights armed soldiers soon falls to a little servant girl’s question. “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18.)
Will you humble yourself before the Lord and seek His grace to overcome?