Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
We read in the gospels how Jesus sees Peter and says, “Come, follow me.” All we then hear is that Peter left the fishing nets and followed him. We hear of Matthew who is supposed to be a respectable civil servant, a man who is known in the society, is well employed, looking forward to retirement with a good salary. Jesus walks by and suddenly says, “Come follow me” – and Matthew leaves all of that to follow Jesus. That kind of invitation goes on and on in the gospels, and we see these people just following Jesus. What is so remarkable and captivating and capturing about this Jesus, that when he says, “Follow me” – they do?
I suspect the people God called at the beginning must have sat down to calculate all those things before they followed this man Jesus. They weighed it all. Jesus simply says, “Come follow me.” But when Jesus says that it is not just a statement – it is inviting you to a relationship. Follow me. So you are identifying with him. He is calling you to himself. We see in the gospel stories how for three and a half years he talked with these people, he ate with them, there were a few quarrels here and there .. but they went on in a close relationship – so close that after he had gone they remembered all that he said. Jesus is calling his followers to a close relationship. “Learn of me,” says Jesus. He is inviting you to a relationship. It’s not knowing about Jesus; it’s responding to Jesus in a relationship.
Written by Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi