Summary: Elisha would work more miracles and extend more grace than any other until Jesus. But he did not surface out of nowhere; let’s begin his story at the beginning.
Elisha the Disciple
1. A story is told that At the beginning of a new year, a high school principal decided to post his teachers’ new year’s resolutions on the bulletin board. As the teachers gathered around the bulletin board, a great commotion started. One of the teachers was complaining. "Why weren’t my resolutions posted?" She was throwing such a temper tantrum that the principal hurried to his office to see if he had overlooked her resolutions. Sure enough, he had mislaid them on his desk. As he read her resolutions he was astounded. This teacher’s first resolution was not to let little things upset her in the New Year.
2. Or how bout this one…A son called his parents to wish them a happy new year and when his Dad answered the phone, He asked his dad,” well Dad, what’s your new year’s resolution? His dad replied, To make "To make your mother as happy as I can all year," When his mom got on the phone he asked. her the same question. His mom replied my resolution is "To see that your dad keeps his New Year’s resolution." [Kevin Litchfield, sermon central]
3. People like to make resolutions because they want to change things — usually for the better. But change is difficult. Transitions can be challenging.
4. Today we are beginning a series about the prophet Elisha, who took the reigns from the prophet Elijah in about 860 BC. Northern Kingdom of Israel.
Main Idea: Elisha would work more miracles and extend more grace than any other until Jesus. But he did not surface out of nowhere; let’s begin his story at the beginning.
I. Elijah Prepared the Way for ELISHA (9-18)
Retell but do not read this section
A. Elijah is to Elisha what John was to JESUS.
Elisha and Yeshua have almost the same name, when it comes to meaning.
B. Elijah went from EUPHORIA to DEPRESSION (9-13).
1. Elijah went to Saudi Arabia to Mt. Sinai in fear and depression
2. He had experienced a great victory — a contest between Yahweh and Baal
3. Queen Jezebel (Ahab), a priestess of Baal… a marked man
4. He went from joy to despair… the bottom dropped out
5. God deals with him gently…
• What are you doing here, Elijah?
• I am alone for You
• Come out of the cave and stand before me!
• whisper (yes)
6. Elijah grieves before God
7. What are you doing here, Elijah?
• “I alone…
• destroyed altar Baal,
• after my life…”
C. God Gives Elijah Some TASKS (15-17)
1. Go to Damascus, Syria, and anoint Hazael to be king of Syria
2. Anoint Jehu to be king of Israel
3. Anoint Elisha to be a prophet who will replace you.
D. God informs Elijah that 7,000 men have NOT bowed the knee to Baal (18)
II. Elijah Called Elisha to Discipleship Like Jesus Called His DISCIPLES (19-21) Read this section
• The Rabbis used this as a model for the relationship of a disciple to a rabbi
• Many of Jesus’ teachings and His approach come from these few verses
A. Elisha was busy EARNING a living among “the Twelve” (19a,b).
B. Elijah calls Elisha to ministry by passing on his CLOAK (19c).
C. Elisha leaves mother and father and IMMEDIATELY follows him (20).
1. Other themes, like being yoked to Jesus may originate here.
2. Putting your hand to the plough and not looking back
D. He LIQUIDATED what he had on hand and gave to the “poor” (21).
The leaving and following a rabbi aspect of discipleship was generally a short term proposition, like going to Bible college. Following a rabbi’s teaching was lifelong.
E. He AROSE and followed Elijah without looking back.
III. A Few PRINCIPLES to Remember
A. Being depressed at times is a normal part of life, and God is not HARSH with us about it.
1. Learning to get moving & focus elsewhere can help us cope with depression.
2. Our emotions can rapidly change!
3. When believers feel isolated & alone, it weakens their resolve & gets us down…we need to band together more than ever!
4. The world tries to convince us that no one believes what we believe
5. College: Get involved in Campus Crusade or the Navigators
B. None of us are inexpendable; sometimes the best is yet to come.
Elijah worked more miracles than anyone, except for Moses, to that point.
His greatest miracles were at the end of his life.
Who would have thought his disciple, Elisha, would have surpassed him?
C. We understand Jesus better by understanding the Old Testament.
1. Following Jesus as His disciple should take priority in our lives.