I had a conversation with my brother yesterday where he excitedly told me about his pending graduation. Jeffrey has gone back to school in order to start a second career. As a highly thought of student, he is receiving job recommendations from his instructors. I asked him what he was looking for in his new career and employer. He made it clear that he wants to work for a company that will provide a mentor for him as well as a chance to grow professionally. We see this same dynamic in this week's Gospel:
Jesus said to his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents with their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs. Mark 16:15-20
Jesus has very high expectations of His followers. He details some of the things that they can expect to see after He departs. Surely they marveled at His words and more importantly at the actual signs as they occurred. There is a pattern here that is important. Jesus predicts what will happen. The disciples go forth in faith preaching Jesus' Good News. Jesus comes through on His prediction. There is one element of this pattern that can't be overlooked. Note the phrase, "...while the Lord worked with them". Jesus is actively engaged with His followers to bring about His purposes.
I hope Jeffrey can find a job and an employer who will mentor him and give him a chance to grow. He will know once he starts working whether or not the employer lives up to their promises. We should have no such question in our work for Jesus. We simply need to go to work trusting that He will mentor us and give us a chance to grow.