In this post, I will be drilling down into what is at the core of being an apprentice of the Master Craftsman. I have always tried to write in the dirt of the earth while breathing the fresh air of heaven. My chief desire is as the Lord taught us to pray. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s why in a very real and practical sense it’s all Jesus and all business, all the time. While you can choose to stiff-arm that idea or be intimately drawn to it, the fact still remains that there is no sacred/secular divide no matter how hard we want to make one. As Martin Luther King lived out his life as an apprentice to the Master Craftsman this reality was evident.
“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”Martin Luther King Jr.
In God’s narrative, Jesus refers to this relationship of apprentice and master craftsman as being a disciple. I want to walk through what I believe that primarily means. It includes: discovering the purpose, the people with whom that involves, this process of observing, and the product/service or result of that relationship. These have formed the elemental questions that I have included in all of my “Come & See Tours“: what is the purpose, who are the people, what is the process/how is it done, and does the supply (product/service) meet the demand (need/desire/want).
The purpose of discipleship is three fold. The first is to understand that a teacher is passing on critical lessons from one person to another. These are things that are tried and trued with truth. The second deals with the posture of the student as a life long learner with their teacher to emulate their way of life. The third is the simple reality that when a disciple is fully trained he will be like their master.
Who are the participants necessary for an apprenticeship to take place? In the divine narrative, there are five persons who are dynamically involved. Each one plays a critical role. If one was missing the realities of being an apprentice and training with the Master Craftsman would not be possible.
God, the Father
This first person is the Father. He is the giver of all good and perfect gifts and known as the Father of Lights. It was of His own will that He brought us forth by the word of truth. We are warned not to be deceived in this process of His making. By his doing, we are a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. A process that starts when we accept His invitation to apprentice Him as the Master Craftsman. The Father is the full body of work.
God, the Son
The second person is that written yet living word of truth made flesh – Jesus Christ the righteous. He exists both in written and living form and He will never pass away, but instead, He endures forever. The Bible, which is the Word of God, is that narrative within which all of history (past, present, and future) has been established. To this end, Solomon writes, “That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.” Jesus is the one who came to seek and save that which has been lost. Jesus is the example, who gave us hands-on instruction captured in the written word.
God, the Holy Spirit
There is also another person who is intimately involved in the process of apprenticeship with the Master Craftsman. He is referred to as the Holy Spirit. The learning process while simple is hard and difficult and having a comforter involved in the process is necessary. His role is to guide us into all truth, and that is the Word of Truth the Father brought forth. You can learn more about him in John 14 & 16. This is when Jesus was sharing with his disciples in the upper room on the night of His betrayal. We all have a disability. He is our tutor or helper. It is by His ability that we are able to learn and put the Lord’s instruction into practice – bearing the Spirit’s rich and abundant fruit.
The fourth person is the accuser/Satan/serpent/devil/evil one – whom I refer to as the Revisionist. We see Him throughout the narrative of God. He is constantly attempting the tempting of the Father’s creation, because he wants to lead us to exchange the glory of God the Creator, with that of an idol of our own making. The shortcuts considered to cheat the process are a revision of His making. Satan has the uncanny knack of isolating usHe stands and accuses us of our faults and seeks to prove that we are failures and not overcomers. Jesus gave us our example, we overcome him with the spoken, enduring Word of God.
Eve – the mother of all living
The final person is us, mankind. He teaches us. We are taught why His ways are a delight. In time, we learn to reject the accusations of the Revisionist – because His word comes in power. We begin to learn anew what it means to be renewed – made in His image. He calls us His workmanship. Created in Christ Jesus, to do good works – which the Father prepared beforehand that we might walk in them. You and I are the clay upon which He has breathed the breath of life. We are formed and fashioned. Objects of His mercy. We are that good gift which He perfected when Adam was put into a deep sleep. You and I are the Lord’s helpmate which when joined together in one flesh, Christ and the Church, we are fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth and have dominion over it.
I want to shift gears and talk about the process of learning. There is a communion between apprentice and the Master. I want to speak specifically about what that entails while still being brief and to the point. In this fellowship there is:
- instructions that have been spoken, written down, demonstrated in the person of Christ.
- listening that hears, and seeing that perceives to gain wisdom, insight, and instruction.
- tutoring by the Helper. He helps us with our disability to understand and comprehend, how it is to be put into practice.
- the simple yet difficult reality of change. You and I have to put off the old, renew our minds, and put on the new that He has taught us.
And what is the ultimate result of this apprenticeship? We read it in the narrative this way, “He [Jesus] also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” The point of an apprenticeship is for us to learn about ourselves, not for the sake of instructing others. The goal is to become like the teacher when we are fully trained. We should not bother ourselves with what we see in others. At the workbench, God is with us – which is Him making us holy and royal.
On this Martin Luther King weekend, I hope that you can see the joy of His apprenticeship. He had a dream because He had been transformed by the narrative of God. From His vantage point, it was an entire life – abandoned to God. This, my friend, gives great insight into our hope of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And at the LORD’s communion table, we all have these inalienable rights given us by our Maker. We will find Him calling at the door, He wants to come and sit at our table and have fellowship with us. Astonishingly he wants to serve us in ways that cause us to question what we believe about life. Will we join the fellowship of the Lord?