Elisha Points Us to Christ
Today’s reading is dominated by several miraculous works that will ring familiar in many ways to Christ and his miracles in the Gospels. In chapters 2 & 3, he provides pure water for the people reminding us that Christ is the Living Water. In chapter 3, he serves King Jehoram of Israel though Jehoram has continued the evil practice of worshipping the golden bulls of his father. In this we are reminded that Christ came to serve the rebellious sinner. In chapter 4, Elisha focuses on the need of the poor widow that society would have readily overlooked, just as Christ would minister to those who were down and out and overlooked by society. Each of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) record Jesus bringing a child, whose parents had laid in their room before seeking him out, back to life. Elisha does the same in 2 Kings 4. In the same chapter, Elisha miraculously causes only 20 loaves of bread to feed one hundred hungry soldiers with leftovers to spare. Jesus makes bread from only a five loaves to feed thousands in Matthew 14 with twelve full baskets left over to spare. In chapter 5, Elisha heals Naaman the leper by sending him away to wash seven times in the Jordan River. In Luke 17, Jesus is met by ten lepers asking to be healed. He sent them away to go and show themselves to the priests that they might be declared clean. The scripture says that they were healed as they went. Jesus also uses the story of Naaman the Syrian as condemnation of the faithless in Israel in Luke 4. Finally, in chapter 5, we read of Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, who betrays him for two coins only to be cursed by God. Judas, the disciple of Christ, betrayed the Lord for thirty coins only to be cursed by God.
What should we draw from this symmetry between the ministry of Elisha and Christ? First, we should rejoice that God cares for the needs of the great and small alike. It is the heart of our Heavenly Father to show Himself faithful to the poor, weak, and humble. God knows and cares for our needs from smallest to greatest.
Second, we should be reminded again that Christ is the focus of all of Scripture. All the Bible points to Him. If your reading of the Bible is not done in the light of Christ’s incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, then you are missing the point. Christ is the true and greater Elisha, just as He is the true and greater Moses leading His people out of the bondage of sin; and the true and greater David destroying our twin enemies of sin and death and ruling his people in righteousness.
Rejoice today that Christ is the focal point of both the love of God the Father and of His plan to save us from our sin.