Our Pledge of Allegiance to Jesus

Posted on January 28, 2020

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By David Ettinger

A Long Day
It was a long day for Jesus. He fed the 5,000, walked on water, taught that He was “the Bread of Life,” witnessed the bitter grumbling resulting from His teaching, and watched as “many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:66).

The Lord must have been weary and emotionally spent. However, He had business to tend to. He had to make sure He had the devotion of those closest to Him, and therefore asked the 12 disciples: “You do not want to leave too, do you” (v. 67)?

This piercing question produced perhaps the greatest pledge of allegiance uttered in Scripture – a pledge every Christian should repeat as often as memory calls it to mind.

The Pledge
Though Jesus posed the question to all 12, of course it was Peter who replied. He had done so other times without good results (Matthew 26:31-35); this time, he was spot on. To Jesus’ question, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Peter replied: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God” (vv. 68-69).

Do you concur? If so, make it personal; repeat this pledge of allegiance in the first person: “Lord, to whom shall I go? You have the words of eternal life. I have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

I suspect the Lord loved hearing these words then, loves hearing them now, and will never tire of hearing them. Though telling Jesus that you love Him – and sincerely meaning it – is also a wonderful proclamation Jesus never tires of, there is an intellectual element in Peter’s pledge which makes it so powerful!

  • In proclaiming to Jesus, “to whom shall I go,” is to tell Him that He alone is the One sent from God the Father; that there is no other.
  • To declare that Jesus has “the words of eternal life,” is to confirm that you understand the reason for which He came to Earth, and that you willingly and intentionally accept the free give of salvation He brings.
  • To assure that you “have come to believe and to know that [He is] the Holy One of God” is to confess His lordship – that you fully understand and acknowledge that He is God.

No Love Lacking
Perhaps it appears that this pledge lacks love. But remember, Jesus said, “and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

This is a paraphrase of the famous Deuteronomy 6:5: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Notice how Jesus added the word “mind” to His version. In doing so, He indicated that our devotion to Him should embody all we have: our hearts and souls (emotions), our strength (our physical selves), and our intellects (our minds).

So, yes, Peter’s great pledge of allegiance does include love as well as intellect, and it is exactly what our Lord desires in those He loves. “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

May we ever pledge our allegiance to our great Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and may we do so with all of hearts, bodies, and minds!