Passing the mantle

Date: Wednesday, October 23

Scripture2 Kings 2:1-13

Verse: When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” (2 Kings 2:9)

Through the years I have had several mentors. Some in my career, some in my personal life. Some knew they were mentoring me, others I have never met. All have had a profound influence upon who I am, how I do my job, and the goals I set for myself. I heard a colleague say of another pastor he knew, “He is the pastor I want to be someday.” I have had the privilege of knowing many Christians throughout my life about whom I too can say, “She/He is the person of faith I hope to be someday.”

Imagine the influence Elijah had upon Elisha. When asked what Elijah could do for him before his death, Elisha responds, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” Elisha is being asked to be treated like a first-born son (they would receive a double portion of their father’s inheritance upon his death), which is in ancient parlance like saying, “I want to follow in your footsteps,” or “I want to be like you.” Elijah had led so well, Elisha wanted to carry on his work, his legacy.

When Elijah is taken up to be with God, there on the ground is his mantle, a symbol of his prophetic office. Prophets were not fortune tellers as we sometimes assume, they were those who spoke for God, who represented God’s voice in the leadership of the people of Israel. Elisha picks up the mantle (yes, this is where we get that saying), and carries on Elijah’s work. In some ways Elijah’s spirit continued to move in and through the work of his young protegé.

What are you leaving behind for others to pick up with and carry on?

Prayer: Thank you, O God, for the example of Elijah and Elisha. Teach me to lead others closer to you. Amen.

Action: Intentionally share something with someone who sees you as a mentor.

Respond: Share a time you have passed on or received the mantle. Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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