Have you ever been an apprentice to someone? It means that you choose to “work for another person for a specific amount of time so that you can receive instruction ad experience in a particular trade, art, or business.” Very often it means that an older craftsman or skilled worker is willing to spend specified hours with you in order to facilitate your understanding and ability to do what he or she has mastered. A time of apprenticeship is required in many professions before one can get a certain license, be certified, or able to legally claim a specific title. In other arenas, the opportunity to be an apprentice to an expert or a very talented or gifted artist, performer, or gifted entrepreneur, allows you to gain experience, see your own talents and abilities through the eyes of a master, and to move into places that will expand your future opportunities.
The disciples that Jesus chose had no ability to fully realize that they were in many ways an apprentice to The Master. When they accepted His invitation to “Follow Him”, they seemed eager to do so, but certainly they had no idea how their lives would be forever changed. As the months went by and they watched the way that Jesus treated people, healed others, and performed amazing miracles, they no doubt even questioned what their life would be like in the future. It seems that Jesus very purposefully knew when the time was right for Him to move the disciples into the next step of learning about His identity and His mission. As His opposition increased, He took more and more time to be with His disciples only so that He could explain to them that “He must suffer, be killed and on the third day to rise to life.” (Matthew 16: 21) His lessons and illustrative stories were all part of their apprenticeship as they began to hear more specifically who the Messiah really was and what He came to do.
Do you think that Peter and Andrew even heard the second part of Jesus’ invitation to them when He said, “Come, follow Me and I will make you fishers of men:? Was it His way of saying to them and to us, “Come and be My apprentice”?