Most of the people chosen by Jesus to be His disciples already had careers. It is doubtful that any of them were actively seeking a career change or had any ambition to be anything more than they already were. The Bible does not tell us what all the disciples did for employment before they met Jesus, but several had worked as fishermen, and one was a tax collector. The fishermen still used their former expertise from time to time criss-crossing Lake Galilee with Jesus, and doing the occasional bit of fishing. The difference to the disciples was that their former careers no longer held any significant importance in their lives. What mattered now was following Jesus. He was more important to them than anything.
The wording of my great grandfather’s indentures lists his responsibilities to his master. It is interesting that his employer was referred to in such a way. An apprentice had to be committed to his master for the duration of his apprenticeship. During this time the master offered his knowledge to the apprentice, training him and gradually increasing his competence. It took time. My great grandfather was an apprentice printer for seven years.
It takes time to get to the place Jesus wants us to be. He knows how much potential we have, but He does not expect us to be instantly qualified to serve Him. He may not call us to a radical career change, but from the time we meet Him and begin to follow Him He should become more important than anything else. There is no time limit on the length of our apprenticeship to our Master, because it never ends. It is fortunate that the Master has infinite patience, and supplies all that we need to advance in our knowledge of Him. All He requires from us is our time, and our willingness to be changed. We have to recognise that we will never be fully qualified in this life. But this means that we will never be left alone or unsupervised, unless we choose to walk in a different direction to the one to which Jesus calls us. Even then He does not walk away from us. What a Master!
“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will bein you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:15-18 NIV)