11 September 2007

2 Kings 2:1-12

"When they had crossed (the Jordan), Elijah said to Elisha, 'Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you'. Elisha said, 'Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit'. (v.9)


Elijah was one of the most famous of the Hebrew prophets or holy men. There are many stories of miracles he performed and the courageous challenges he presented to the corrupt and cruel King Ahab and his court, who worshipped Baal (a local thunder deity) rather than the God of Israel.

He is often shown having to act in isolation, pitting himself against powerful political opponents, standing up for the powerless people and trusting in God alone. Elijah experienced a classic vision of God, not as earthquake, wind or fire, but as a 'still small voice'. These stories appear in 1 Kings 17 to the end.

Aware that he was nearing death, Elijah, accompanied by his disciple Elisha, paid a farewell visit to the prophetic communities at Gilgal, Bethel and Jericho.

The two prophets then crossed the Jordan, its waters being driven back miraculously so that a passage was provided; and from his dying teacher and mentor, Elisha asked for a double portion of his prophetic power. This gift of a double portion was normally reserved for the firstborn.

Elijah responds by telling Elisha that if he sees the vision of his translation then he is indeed worthy to receive the gift - the implication being that spiritual gifts can be transmitted only to those that are worthy and fit to receive them.

To Ponder

Are you open to receive the gifts of the Spirit and willing to take the risks involved in any action these might inspire?

God might be asking you to relinquish a task to someone else. How are you offering to be a mentor to others?

Bible notes author

Revd Eden Fletcher

The Revd Eden Fletcher is the Superintendent Minister for the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (Brunswick Central) Circuit, having previously served as Chaplain to Kent College, Canterbury, a Methodist school and minister at Westminster Central Hall, London. Eden is committed to city centre ministry believing that the Church has a key role in promoting strong community in the heart of city and promoting Christian values in a commercial/retail context.