Leader Guide ESV, Unit 13, Session 3
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Edited by Rev. Lex DeLong, M.A., Nov. 2022.
Summary and Goal
Elijah was called to anoint Elisha as a prophet in Elijah’s place by the Lord and Elijah fulfilled that call.
Elisha took up the prophetic mantle in the spirit of Elijah.
The story began at the end of 1 Kings 19 but continued into 2 Kings and is an important story for connecting the whole story of Kings with the rest of Scripture.
Eventually, the One greater than Elijah and Elisha—the NT tells us is Jesus—would come.
In similar fashion as God did with Elijah and the other prophets, our Lord gave us a Great Commission: to make disciples of all nations in the power of the Spirit.
Jesus expects immediate obedience and wholehearted allegiance.
++The successor commits fully to the mission [One’s level of commitment to God’s call, nurtures blessing] (1 Kings 19:19-22).
++The successor requests God’s power to complete the mission [God works His power through His committed people, just ask] (2 Kings 2:6-12a).
++The successor is confirmed by a sign to begin the mission [God will confirm your commitment to His call] (2 Kings 2:12b-15).
Background Passage: 1 Kings 19–2 Kings 2
Session in a Sentence
God empowers His people to confirm their calling and to carry out His mission.
++God confirms His people by working His power through them to carry out His mission.
When Elisha succeeded the prophet Elijah, he asked for the same spirit that was in Elijah to be given to him.
God granted Elisha’s request and revealed His presence through a miracle.
Years later when Jesus prepared His followers to begin their ministry, He instructed them to wait for the Holy Spirit, who came upon them and confirmed His presence in miraculous ways.
Because we have been given the Holy Spirit, we fulfill the mission Christ has given us and share the gospel with the world, knowing that our strength comes from God’s Spirit.
Succession is important in various spheres of life.
We see good succession plans emphasized in business, sports, and government, just to name a few.
As Christians, we enjoy the benefits of faithful brothers and sisters in previous generations who have handed down the faith to the next generation.
How did the gospel get from Jerusalem to you?
It was this:
Christians didn’t let the gospel die with them.
They shared it with others and passed it down to the next generation.
So here we are today and we bear that same responsibility.
How have you been discipled by others in your life?
(be prepared to give an answer of your own to jump-start the conversation)
In the previous session, we read of Elijah’s call to anoint Elisha as a prophet in Elijah’s place, as his successor.
In this session, we will find Elijah fulfilling this call.
Elisha takes up the prophetic mantle in the spirit of Elijah.
The story begins at the end of 1 Kings 19 but continues into 2 Kings and is an important story for connecting the whole story of Kings with the rest of Scripture.
Eventually, the One greater than Elijah and Elisha—Jesus—would come.
Our Lord has given us a Great Commission: to make disciples of all nations in the power of the Spirit.
Jesus demands immediate obedience and wholehearted allegiance.
Elisha was asked to follow a prophet in following the prophet’s God and call, but we have been called to follow the Son of God and the call to make disciples.
Point 1: The successor commits fully to the mission [One’s level of commitment to God’s call, nurtures blessing] (1 Kings 19:19-22).
Read: Ask a volunteer to read 1 Kings 19:19-22 (DDG p. 30).
19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth.
Elijah passed by him and cast his cloak upon him.
20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.”
And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh with the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate.
Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.
Elisha showed his commitment to follow Elijah by destroying all of his old means of sustenance.
That is a very clear move of commitment to follow the Lord and a significant sacrifice, even for the family that he leaves behind.
He then threw a party to tell everyone he was following God’s will.
Elisha was excited to abandon everything he knew for the call of the Lord.
· Elisha: His name means “God saves.”
Elisha was a farmer, and apparently a wealthy one since he had twelve teams of oxen (v.
· This young apprentice must have given Elijah fresh strength.
In 2 Kings 2:12, Elisha called Elijah “my father,” indicating the closeness the two shared.
Elisha was like an intern who apparently did some menial tasks, like washing the hands of Elijah (2 Kings 3:11).
How would you gauge your willingness to sacrifice in order to follow God’s call?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Prideful Refusal Joyful Surrender
30), compare Elijah’s interaction with Elisha to Jesus’ response to a would-be disciple in Luke 9, where the would-be disciple asked to go back and say good-bye to his family and Christ said no. “No man, putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit.”
ELIJAH (1 Kings 19:19-22)
Allowed Elisha to Say Goodbye?
A Prophet of God
Called Elisha as a Prophet
JESUS (Luke 9:61-62)
Allowed Man to Say Goodbye?
The Son of God
Calls Disciples to Make Disciples
· Elisha asked Elijah if he could go say goodbye to his family before following him, and Elijah allowed it (Yes).
To a would-be follower in Luke 9:61-62, however, Jesus responded to a similar request by saying this would make the man unfit for the kingdom of God (No).
· Why did Jesus not accept this request?
Was it that Elisha was being asked to follow a prophet of God, but we have been called to follow the Lord of glory, the Son of God.
Remember that Jesus is greater than Elijah.
Jesus’ call takes precedence over everyone and everything.
He demands immediate obedience and wholehearted allegiance.
Elisha was being called as a prophet to succeed Elijah, which he obeyed wholeheartedly; of greater importance, Jesus calls His disciples to lay down their lives for His gospel mission to make disciples of all nations (Matt.
Or, is it that with Jesus, the young man was asking to go back to his life and live it while he can and when he has accomplished his goal, then he will follow?
Jesus’ point was that if He has called you right now, the other things will take care of themselves, for He knows what you have need of (Matt.
Fill in the blanks: DDG (p.
Mission of the Church: Go into the world in the power of the Spirit and make disciples by proclaiming the gospel of Jesus, calling people to respond in ongoing repentance and faith.
Essential Doctrine “Mission of the Church”:The church is a sign and instrument of the kingdom of God, a people united by faith in the gospel announcement of the crucified and risen King Jesus.
The mission of the church is to go into the world in the power of the Spirit and make disciples by proclaiming this gospel, calling people to respond in ongoing repentance and faith...
...and demonstrating the truth and power of the gospel by living under the lordship of Christ for the glory of God and the good of the world.
What kind of things must we give up in order to follow Jesus wholeheartedly?
(our pride; our worldly desires; our preferences; our security; our sin; our plans; our worries)
Point 2: The successor requests God’s power to complete the mission [God works His power through His committed people, just ask] (2 Kings 2:6-12a).
Read 2 Kings 2:6-12a (DDG p. 31).
6 Then Elijah said to him, “Please stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”