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Following the Life of Elisha


It seems that the life of Elijah gets a lot of press. His life, according to Jesus, was a foreshadow of John the Baptist (Matt. 11:14); he was the lower story. Contrast him with Elisha; how much do you know about him? Did you know that he performed twice the number of miracles as Elijah? Did you know that his life is a foreshadow of Jesus?

Elijah’s name means ‘my God is Yahweh’; it’s personal, intimate, and possessive: my God. On the other hand, Elisha’s name means ‘God is Savior’. It’s a declaration of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, being God. Elisha was from the family of Shaphat whose name means to judge, govern, defend, avenge, or pronounce sentence.

The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son. John 5:22 ESV

Elisha was from the village of Abel-Meholah, which means ‘mourning to dancing’:

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.
Psalms 30:11 NLT

Can you see the parallels of Elisha and Jesus?

As Elijah and John were full of fire and brimstone; Elisha and Jesus were full of compassion and love. There are exceptions but Elisha and Jesus performed many more miracles of healing, multiplication, and resurrection.

1 Kings 19:9-21 shows us the lower story, the relationship of Elijah and Elisha. God told Elijah to find Elisha and anoint him to be a prophet, speaking for Him. He obeyed by casting his cloak on Elisha as he plowed his field. This ceremony signified adoption into the family of prophets and was accepted by Elisha.

Let’s look at the parallels of Elisha and Jesus’ callings: lower to upper story:

*Elisha guided 12 yokes of oxen in the field; Jesus guided 12 disciples in the spiritual field.

*Elisha left his work and followed Elijah only after returning home to say goodby to his parents and was reprimanded for it. Jesus called some to follow Him and rebuked those who looked back (Luke 9:57-62) using the same image of leaving work and family.

*What about the cloak? The Hebrew word is adderet which means several things. Besides a garment or mantle it’s also translated glory, majesty, or nobility. When Elijah threw his prophetic mantle over Elisha he was imparting God’s glory and nobility in a physical way: the lower story. Jesus also imparts God’s glory and the supernatural life to His followers, the upper story.

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT

Our Spirit-garment covers us and gives the ability to lead a spirit-filled life full of His guidance, giftings, and abilities. You may not follow anyone on Twitter but question remains, who are you following?

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