2 Kings 4 – 2 Kings 5
I’ve always found it interesting that the Prophet Elijah seems to get the credit as being the greatest and the best. Think about it. When John the Baptist is teaching along the Jordan River, who do people think he is . . . Elijah reincarnated. When Jesus asks his disciples, “who do people say that I am” . . . they state Elijah and several others. On the mountain where Jesus is Transfigured, who appears? Elijah and Moses. While I don’t have the Bible memorized, I think we would be hard pressed to find other references to Elisha out side of the context we are reading in 1 & 2 Kings.
Why does that matter? Well think of it this way:
- Causes the rain to cease
- Provides meal and oil for the widow
- Restores the life of the widow’s son
- Calls fire on the altar
- Causes the rain to end the famine
- Strikes down the soldiers
- and, parts the Jordan
All great moments before being taken away in the chariot of fire and horses. Yet, Elisha by the end of chapter 5 in 2 Kings is beginning to do great (if not greater things). For at this point we have read that Elisha is a part of:
- Parting the Jordan
- Healing the waters
- The mauling bears
- Filling the valley with water
- The unending vessel of oil
- Restoring the life of the Shumammite’s son
- Detoxing the stew
- Feeding of the 100 with 20 loaves
- Healing Naaman
- and, Cursing Gehazi with leprosy
It’s quite an impressive list, and it is only going to get longer.
So why then is Elijah listed as the greater prophet, when Elisha seems to do many greater deeds? Is it because Elijah was the master of Elisha? Is it because Elisha received the double portion of Elijah’s spirit? I honestly don’t have an answer for the questions I’m wrestling with, but its a note worthy observation that has troubled me before and troubles me again as we continue to read through 2 Kings.
What are your thoughts?
Our next reading: 2 Kings 6-8