The suddenness of Peter's reaction reveals a lack of forethought and patience. Just before his action, he had asked Christ, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” However, he did not wait for an answer (Luke 22:49-50). His abruptness reflects that he was moved more by his passion—his emotions—instead of upright, reasoned thought and godly principle. Such ungoverned passion rarely leads to righteous action.
Pride is also evident in his action. Perhaps he was even trying to impress his fellow disciples. Peter had boasted earlier that he would remain faithful to Christ even if the others were to stumble (Matthew 26:33). Initially, his strike may have appeared to be sparked by a courageous and noble faith, but it was wrongly motivated. It actually manifested more vainglory than faithful courage or nobility. Peter's carnality echoes the approach of many nominal Christians, inspired more by the desire to outshine others instead of a sincere passion to honor and glorify God.