In the last chapter of John, Jesus pointedly asks Peter 3 times “do you love me”. An obvious connection to the 3 times, on the night of Jesus death, that Peter vehemently denied being associated with Jesus. No doubt those 3 denials, predicted by Jesus, were eating away at Peter. To desert a friend in their time of need, TO DESERT THE SON OF GOD IN HIS TIME OF NEED. Jesus had forgiven Peter (grace is not a new thing), but I think Peter had to go through this exercise and convince himself that he was a true follower of Christ.
But, even in this time of absolution, Peter had to engage in a bit of one-upmanship. The disciples were not above jockeying for position, and Peter was no exception. Quite a footrace to check out the empty tomb after Christ had risen. And again (and here my less than perfect knowledge of scripture fails me) there was a situation with concern about who sat where at the table with Jesus. In this chapter, after Peter has this tremendous exchange with Jesus, he expresses concern about where does John fit in this.
I think, as devoted as he was to the Lord, Peter had times when he went through comparisons (is so-and-so the favorite disciple?, who does the Lord love best?). Maybe I am all wet but that’s how I have read some of those passages. Even if I am reading it correctly, what the heck. Peter was just a man and those human traits show through in spite of his love and devotion to Christ. Just gives me a reminder, if I am judging or comparing those around me, perhaps I have to re-focus my vision and attention where it should be, on my relationship with God and not on all that other noise.