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Peter undoubtedly loved Jesus, and yet he (along with James and John) had not been able to stay awake with Him while He prayed in the garden, for which Jesus mildly rebuked him (Matthew 26:40). I would also say that Peter especially would still have been psychologically hurting from Jesus' specific statement earlier in the evening that Peter would deny Him that very night -- and not just once, but three times (Luke 22:34) -- despite Peter's subsequent protestation that he would never do so, even if he had to die with Jesus. In my opinion, by striking the servant of the high priest, Peter was trying to "save face" for having fallen asleep, as well as actively show that Jesus must have been mistaken in predicting his denials. Further, Jesus had already made clear to the apostles that it was the Father's will (as well as His own in obedience and submission to His Father) that Jesus undergo the suffering that He was about to experience (John 10:18). If Peter had understood this, His love for Jesus should have motivated him to seek and accept the Father's will, as Jesus was doing. Yet he actively sought to prevent it from happening, thus implying that he had superior knowledge as to what the proper course of action was. Therefore, I would say that, as shown by the above actions, Peter's overriding motivation was pride. And the lasting memory of the shame of his later denials was the means God used to assure that his pride would not create an impediment to being subsequently used by God to the maximum of his potential. (This would have lasted all the way up to the end of his life, when Jesus (according to extra-Biblical tradition) appeared to Peter as he was fleeing Rome to save himself (perhaps, again, in pride) from persecution. Peter asked Jesus, "Where are You going?" ("Quo vadis?" in Latin), to which Jesus replied that He was going to Rome to be crucified again, causing Peter to turn around, and return to Rome, where he was arrested and martyred by being crucified upside-down (at his own request), because he said that he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Jesus had.)
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