In the Maronite saints calendar on 14 June we commemorate the prophet Elisha, the disciple of the prophet Elijah.
It is important that we read about the prophets of the Old Testament because they give testimony and meaning to the New Testament.
Elisha was a young man, a farmer in northern Israel and the son of Shaphat, a wealthy land owner of Abel-meholah. Elisha’s story is found in the Book of Kings. The prophet Elijah noticed him when he was ploughing the field, “There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him.” (1 Kings 19:19) Elisha abandoned everything including his family to become the disciple of Elijah. This should sound familiar. Jesus asked his own 12 disciples to leave everything behind and follow him.
However, Elisha is also a type of Christ, he did great works and healed the Syrian military commander Naaman from leprosy (Christ also healed the leper). The general Naaman was so impressed by the evidence of God’s power that he proclaimed “For sure I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel!” (2Kings 5:15)
Like Christ, Elisha was also greater than the one who preceded him (Elijah). Just as John the Baptist said of Jesus, “He who comes after me is preferred before me,” so it was true of Elisha. Elijah, is a type of John the Baptist and he did many signs and wonders. But like Christ, Elisha did twice as many miracles as Elijah and so there is a typology with Elijah as the forerunner and Elisha as the Christ type.
Read for yourself and allow the scriptures reveal to you God’s plan. Read these stories to your children and let them be inspired by them.
We pray that the Prophet Elisha may inspire all to Christ.
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