Elijah’s Illustration of Disciple Making

Elijah’s Illustration of Disciple Making

Opening Illustration:
A mother was preparing pancakes for her sons, Kevin, 5, and Ryan, 3. The boys began to argue over who would get the first pancake. Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson. “If Jesus were sitting here, He would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake; I can wait.” Kevin turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”

Point:
There are a lot of selfish people in the world out there aren’t there?  What sort of person are you?

Are You A Disciple Maker or A Selfish Taker?

Scripture

2 Kings 2:1-14 ESV
When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.”

But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
3 The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”

4 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.”

And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.
5 The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

“Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.”

6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”

And he replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.
7 Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

When Making Disciples, Consider…

The Time vs. 1, 3, and 5

When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.

The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the Lord is going to take your master from you today?”

Point:
When you read the Bible, I mean cover to cover read the Bible, you cannot miss the importance of time. Friends, let me tell you that time is our most important resource. The most valuable commodity that we possess is not what’s in our wallet, it’s what’s on our wrist. We have a limited amount of time and the older we get the more we realize that our time is fleeting. 

Scripture References:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us that there is a time to be born and a time for us all to die. 

Psalm 90:12 tells us that we should number our days and use our time wisely.  

James 4:14 reminds us that humanity is like a mist and that in a blink of an eye our time is gone. 

Point:
What’s really initiating about this piece of Scripture is that everyone knew that Elijah’s time was drawing to a close. His influence and his ministry on planet earth was coming to an end. God knew that Elijah’s time was drawing near.  Elijah knew that his time was drawing near. The prophets Bethel knew that Elijah’s time was concluding. Even the prophets from Jericho knew that Elijah was about to be taken away. 

Point
In the midst of this unusual story, the emphasis shifts away from Elijah, the disciple maker, to his disciple, Elisha. At the end of Elijah’s days, we are confronted with how he invested his time.  Elijah, throughout his illustrious life, poured his life into his apprentice Elisha. 

Illustrated perfectly in this text is one man, a disciple maker, investing in another man, his disciple. 

Point:
Friends, let me tell you today that there is no greater investment of our time than making disciples. There is no greater call on planet earth than to see installed by the power the Holy Spirit the Kingdom of God into the heart of another individual. There is no greater joy than to witness the spiritual growth of another man, woman, boy or girl. There is no greater use of our life than to be a conduit of grace, peace, love, compassion and mercy for God. God using our lives as conduits to powerfully impact someone’s life. 

Point:
Elijah took seriously his call to invest in Elisha. He knew that he only had a short amount of time to teach, prepare, and help grow the next prophet of God. 

Point:
Friends, are we making the most of our time? As pastor’s I know that it is hard because we are pulled in many different directions. However, let me encourage you today that it is never “ok” to run away from our responsibility to use our time making disciples for Christ. Remember, Jesus tells us to work today, in this moment of time, because one day we will be unable to work. Our time will be up.

Be Reminded:

John 9:4 NLT
We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.

When Making Disciples, Consider…

I. The Time vs. 1, 3, and 5
II. The Testimony vs. 2 and 4

Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to Bethel.”
But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

Illustration: A Testimony Is A Powerful Thing

An anthropologist was studying a primitive tribe in South America that years earlier had been reached by a Christian missionary. After having lived among the tribe for several weeks, the anthropologist met with the tribe’s leader. He said, “You have a wonderful culture, but it is a shame that the missionary came and infected your tribe with his religion.”

The chief replied, “See that rock? That’s where we would break the skulls of our enemies. See that tree? That’s where we would sacrifice them to our God. And if we had not learned Christ was our Lord, you would be our dinner tonight.” 

Point:
A testimony can be a powerful thing can’t it?  A testimony can change lives and can even change cultures. 

Quote:
The great George Mueller once said “Our walk counts far more than our talk, always.”

Point:
Truer words have never been spoken. We have all been guilty of not walking our talk.  We have been guilty of wrongly prioritizing our lives.  We have shifted things that don’t really matter into places of distinct importance. 

Yet’s we don’t see that in this story. We see very little interaction between Elijah and Elisha. They say very few words to one another. They seem to just walk together.  Two times, out of consideration to Elisha and the long journey that he would be on, Elijah tells Elisha to stay behind.  On both occasions Elisha says that he will not leave his side.  2 times Elisha choose the discomfort of the broken road over the comfort of staying behind. 

Why?

Because Elijah’s walk was just that compelling.  

Point:
You see friends, it is not so much about what we say.  Its about what we teach through our actions.  Very little is recorded about the interaction between Elijah and Elisha on the road from Bethel to Jericho.  We can see in Scripture that Elisha was intent on listening to Elijah.  He wanted to capture every word.  Every utterance that came his mouth, Elisha wanted to soak it up. 

2 times Elisha muted the most prominent prophets of the city so that he could hear the words of Elijah. 

The Hebrew word used for “quiet” means so much more than mere silence. Elisha is telling them to be calm, to be at peace, to rest, to be still and to be at relief. 

Elisha with his words and in his spirit is saying slow down or stop. He did not want to miss one moment of this precious fleeting time with his master. That time was important, it was worthwhile and valuable. 

You see, Elijah was one of the rare individuals whose life matched his words. Elisha would learn just as much from walking with Elijah as he could from talking with him.  

The walk of the disciple maker is perhaps the most key ingredient to making disciples.  

Point:
So, after reading this Scripture I had to carefully examine my ability as a disciple maker.  Are people compelled to follow me by what I say and what I do? Are my words matching up to my actions?  Are my actions matching up to my words?

Point:
Jesus tells us a simple truth in Matthew 16:24.

Matthew 16:24 NIV
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Jesus calls His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him.  Being a disciple of Christ means that we are willing to daily commit ourselves to death so that Christ may live. We are committed to taking up and instrument of horror in order that beauty may abound in our spirit and souls.  We are called to sacrifice and to selflessness.  

By the way, Jesus is not calling us to something that He did not eventually do for all of mankind. 

Point:
Pastors, teachers, leaders, is your walk so compelling that people are willing to suffer to walk with you? 

What does your testimony say about your life>

I John 2:4 ESV
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him…

When Making Disciples, Consider…

I. The Time vs. 1, 3, and 5
II. The Testimony vs. 2 and 4
III. The Trajectory vs. 13-14

2 Kings 2:13-14 ESV
13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.

Point
Everything in Elisha’s life changed because of one’s man commitment to disciple making. Elijah did far more than give Elisha his cloak.  He bestowed upon him purpose, power, and God’s presence. Friends that what disciple making can do.  Through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we can share that same Spirit with others.  

Elisha wanted a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.  He got far more than what he asked for. You see, Elijah want interested in raising up another version of himself.  He was not trying to replicate himself, rather he was trying to pass along God’s Spirit to another man.  

Friends, this is a key component to any disciple making mission.  It is not the mission fo Stuart Davidson to raise up more Stuart Davidsons.  If that is my goal, then I am missing the point as a believer.  My mission is to raise up more disciples committed to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit work in their lives to be the people that God has created them to be. 

One might even say that Elisha went on to do far greater things that Elijah. Elisha rescued armies, healed Naaman, multiplied oil and loaves, anointed Kings.  He revealed to the common people of the day that God was concerned with their lives and that God was among them. He aided people in distress.  He was a healer and a prophet.  

Elisha carried on the legacy of his master.  Friends, as disciple makers, thats our goal.  We are to be leaving a legacy behind worth remembering.  Sadly we have to many Christians leaving behind versions of themselves rather than versions of Jesus. 

Elijah’s legacy, his disciple making, has transcended time. We are the heirs to his legacy today. Thousands of years later we are still talking about him.  What legacy are you leaving behind this morning? Where is your investment? Whose life course, whose trajectory are you influencing towards Christ today?

Friend I say today because you may not have tomorrow.  May the most of the time you have because you may not have another moment, another second to live.  Are you leaving behind your legacy or the the legacy of Christ? 

2 Timothy 2:2 ESV
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Play Leave Your Legacy!


Live His Legacy Today!

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