Today's Reading: 2 Kings 1-4
Throughout the reading today, the phrase "man of God" is used in tandem with the word prophet or the names Elijah and Elisha. The "man of God" has power from God. He speaks with authority; he knows the future; he provides for the widow; he raises the dead; he defeats his enemies; he counsels kings; he takes barley loaves and feeds hundreds of people.
These passages in 2 Kings foreshadow and set the stage for the ministry of another "man of God" who will come on the scene much later--Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man.
Jesus' prophetic role is born from the prophets of old. It is no wonder that some thought he was the re-incarnation of Elijah or Elisha.
Right before Elijah is swept up by the chariot, comin' for to carry him home, Elisha has the wisdom to ask for a double portion of Elijah's spirit. As Elisha witnesses the ascension of Elijah into heaven, the transfer of authority and power takes place.
As the disciples stood watching Jesus ascend into heaven, Jesus transfers his authority and power over to them.
As the people of God, Jesus says we have this same power, the power of the prophets, the power of Jesus. Jesus calls us to use that power to go into all the world to make disciples.
I think we forget that this power is available to us today. We down play it as either myth or no longer available to us, but this is false. God has given us authority and power to accomplish the tasks set before us.
Like many who have gone before us, this scares us. We know the seduction of power and we also have seen power abused. We think we are not up to the task and truthfully, without God, we definitely are not.
But we need to have the tenacity and persistence of Elisha. We need to stick to God's words, God's call, God's prophetic word and refuse to leave it.
The men of God--the people of God--have this kind of stick-to-itiveness. They refuse to let go until the blessing is realized. They refuse to leave the widow despite the risk. They refuse to go seeking after other gods for advice. They refuse to give up on God's marvelous adventures.