Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. John 18:10
The prior devotional began a four-part look at our potential resemblance to the Apostle Peter. We were challenged by Peter’s bold and unequivocal declaration of Jesus’ Messiahship in Matthew 16:16. He remained a committed follower of Christ, showing steadfastness when others did not. After one particularly challenging teaching that drove many away, Jesus asked His disciples “You don’t want to go away, too, do you?”
Simon Peter answered him, “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.” John 6:68-69.
The “About” page of the Christian Lawyer Directory identifies the online directory as a platform for lawyers who are “willing to honor God by publicly pledging allegiance to His Son.” What exactly does it mean to pledge allegiance to Jesus? Did Peter satisfy those requirements by his declarations in Matthew 16 and John 6?
The word allegiance is defined as “loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause.” Allegiance is not just a recitation of words. Loyalty demands more than mere lip service. It demands behavior, and sacrifice, to confirm the genuineness of such words.
Peter demonstrated allegiance by putting action to his words. When the Son of God was betrayed by Judas’ kiss, Peter transitioned from being Jesus’ companion to becoming His protector. Peter flailed his drawn sword at the approaching mob, slicing off Malchus’ ear. Jesus healed Malchus and rebuked Peter, not for his demonstration of loyalty, but for attempting to violently thwart God’s will. Though poorly implemented, Peter’s allegiance was evident.
It is one thing to place your right hand over your heart, turn to face the stars and stripes, and recite well-known words. It is quite another to act in conformity to that profession. The words and gestures of our pledge of allegiance mean nothing if we are not also willing to guard, protect, defend, and advance the ideals of the United States of America.
Allegiance to “the Messiah, the son of the living God” requires no less a commitment. Jesus is indeed our superior, and we are His subordinates. Loyalty to Him may not require the drawing of swords, but it surely demands more than words.
Are we willing to defend our Lord, as was Peter? If so, what does that look like in our context?