2 Kings 2:1 “When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal”
Obviously, we’ve jumped ahead in our study of Elijah and Elisha. We said that the relationship between Elijah and Elisha is teaching us about discipleship; what it means to be a follower, a student, a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, as Elijah and Elisha are walking along together, I’d like us to be thinking about our walk with Jesus.
There was only one reason for Elisha to be walking with Elijah. Elisha kept walking with Elijah so he could learn from him. Elijah was about to be taken up to heaven leaving Elisha behind to carry on his work.
When Jesus went back to heaven, He left us behind to carry on His work. He said we’d be doing the things He did. In fact, we’d be doing even greater things that He did because He was going back to the Father and the Holy Spirit was coming to help us. He said we’d be His witnesses when the Holy Spirit came upon us with power.
In order for that to happen, we need to be walking with Jesus every day. We need to be developing that close, personal relationship with Jesus throughout the week. We need to be walking with Jesus like Elisha was walking with Elijah so we can learn from Him too.
It’s very exciting when we meet Jesus for the first time. Everything starts off with so much joy and enthusiasm. But, over time, we begin to ask ourselves, “Have I gone far enough? Is this as far as I need to go? Where is all this taking me?”
2 Kings 2:2 “Elijah said to Elisha, ‘Stay here, the Lord has sent me to Bethel. But Elisha said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ So they went down to Bethel.”
2 Kings 2:4 “Then said to him, ‘Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.’ And he replied, ‘As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.’ So they went to Jericho.”
2 Kings 2:6 “Then Elijah said to him, ‘Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.’ And he replied, ’As surely as you live and as the Lord lives, I will not leave you.’ So the two of the walked on.”
At every turn, Elisha was given the opportunity to stop walking, AND…
2 Kings 2:3 & 5 “The company of prophets at (Bethel and Jericho) came out to Elisha and asked, ‘Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?’
In essence, those prophets were saying, “Don’t be so fanatical and so hyper-religious. Leave some room in your life for other things. Choose one place, pick one cause, and stay with it. You don’t have to walk all the way with him. You’ll be just as much a prophet as we are if you just stay here with us. But in each case, Elisha responded:
‘Yes, I know,’ Elisha replied, ‘but do not speak of it.’” I have decided to follow Jesus and there’s no turning back.
Here in 2 Kings 2, it’s obvious that Elisha is determined to follow Elijah all the way to the end. Elijah had given Elisha no other reason for walking with him. As they walked together from Gilgal to Bethel, from Bethel to Jericho and from Jericho to the Jordan River, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENED!!!
Elijah didn’t speak any anointed, prophetic words from the Lord. He didn’t perform any miracles. If he had, the Bible would have recorded them. But nothing like that is ever mentioned. Overall, the time Elisha spent walking with Elijah seems to have been rather boring and uneventful, except for the fact that he was walking with – ELIJAH!!!
Elisha kept walking with Elijah simply because he enjoyed being with him. He admired Elijah. He respected Elijah. He patterned his life after Elijah. He wanted to be just like Elijah.
Our love for Jesus is the only thing that will keep us walking with Jesus.
Large crowds followed Jesus wherever He went because they loved His preaching. They marveled at the miracles He did, especially when He did one for them. But, if they didn’t like what He said or after their immediate, temporary needs had been met, they’d turn around and go back home. Jesus kept telling these disciple wanna-be’s that if they wanted to be one of His disciples, they’d have to put Him first. They’d have to love Him the most.
Well never walk very far with Jesus until the joy of being with Him becomes greater than our need to get something from Him. It doesn’t matter how busy we are or how complicated our lives and our circumstances have become. It doesn’t matter how dry our quiet times may have gotten. It doesn’t matter if He never answers another prayer.
It’s OK if He doesn’t perform any miracles for us because the sheer joy of being with Him is much greater than our need to get something from Him. Like Elisha walking with Elijah, we just want to be with Him so that, one day, we can be like Him, doing the things He does.
Lord willing, we’ll continue this walk next Tuesday. Thanks for being on God’s word with Pastor Buj.