Set bread and water before them that they may eat and drink, and go to their master… 2 Kings 6:22 KJV

Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master…  2King 6:22 NASB

The ministries of Elijah and Elisha complement each other. The former was a stern and solemn preacher of righteousness and judgment. At his hand the prophets of Baal are slain, Ahab is judged, and Jezebel is condemned. Elisha’s ministry was marked by grace and mercy to an undeserving nation. He moved among the people and the vast majority of his miracles and interventions were acts of grace.

The Firstborn

During their journey, Elijah asked Elisha what he desired. His reply, “a double portion” indicates the portion of the first-born. From the ascension of Elijah, Elisha acts as the firstborn, full of grace and truth. He moves through Israel and brings blessing at every turn. He is a faint picture of the One Who went about doing good. Elisha fed the hungry. In his ministry he reflected another Firstborn Son Who would come and bring blessing as well. He raised the dead; He fed the hungry; He calmed storms and brought peace to troubled hearts.

The Fruitful

The ministry of Elisha was varied and fruitful. He dealt with the hazardous (2 Kings 2:19-22); he brought hope to the hopeless (4:1-7); he lifted the heartbroken (4:36); He fed the hungry (4:42-44); and remedied the harmful (4:38-41). He left blessing wherever he moved.

Once again, he cast his shadow forward on the pathway of a greater than himself who was to come. He was the One Who fed the hungry, healed the hurting, brought life to the dead, touched the heartbroken and made their hearts to sing for joy, and remedied the maladies of the masses. His was a life of incalculable good and grace.

The Favor

As with Elisha, the Lord Jesus ministered and brought blessing to an undeserving people. The ministry of Elijah had been rejected and Elisha came, not to condemn the nation, but to bless it. In a similar manner, the nation had rejected, through Herod and even the leaders, the ministry of John the Baptist. The Lord Jesus came, not to condemn but to save. His favor was to an undeserving people.

But unlike Elisha, His ultimate blessing resided in the life He laid down at Calvary. It took the work of the cross and His resurrection to bring blessing to us and to bring forgiveness and redemption.

Consider

  1. There are three acts of judgment in the ministry of Elisha. Look at their unique setting.
  2. Did the ministry of the Lord Jesus take character from Elijah or Elisha?