Third Sunday after the Epiphany
“Come with me!”
“Come with me!” (Matthew 4:19 CEV). That is one version of Jesus’ invitation “Follow me.” Sometimes we call ourselves “followers of Jesus.” I prefer that phrase to “Christians,” because of some of the statements and actions that people label as Christian. I ask, “Would Jesus do that? Would Jesus say that?”
Am I really ready to “come with Jesus,” wherever he wants to take me?
“I will make you fish for people” (Matthew 4:19). This can sound intimidating. Is Jesus trying to catch people and devour them? No. Jesus is telling Peter and Andrew that answering his invitation “Come with me!” is serious business, as serious as fishing. (Remember that Jesus is talking to people for whom fishing is not recreation but how they earn their living.)
Am I ready to believe that answering Jesus’ invitation “Come with me!” is as important as earning a living?
“Jesus went throughout Galilee, curing every disease and every sickness” (Matthew 4:23). In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out his followers, those who have answered his invitation “Come with me!” to do what he has done, to “cure every disease and every sickness” (Matthew 10:1). What sicknesses and what diseases do we find within us and around us that Jesus wants us to help heal?
Am I ready to fight the disease of thinking only of myself and my family? Am I ready to fight the disease of accumulating more than I need? Am I ready to fight the sickness of thinking I am more valuable to God than someone else? Am I ready to fight these diseases in our society?
Jesus invites us: “Come with me!” Am I ready as an individual? Are we ready as a church?
Hermann Weinlick, retired pastor, Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Moravian Church