I wonder if Simon Peter’s threefold denial of our Lord was more serious than the self-confidence and pride that brought him to that offense. It is not clear to me that “I do not know this Man of whom you speak!” was a more grievous transgression than “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be” (Mark 14:29,71). It is scarcely obvious, that is to say, that Peter’s denial was a worse sin than his boasting.
Indeed, the very opposite appears to be the case: One perceives a sense in which Peter’s open denial of the Lord may be said to have improved his spiritual state, inasmuch as this more manifest sin led him to repentance. He became contrite that he denied, whereas he was not the least b . . .
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