The text for this lesson is 2 Kings 2:1–15.
- Enoch and Elijah were taken into heaven alive. Jesus, who is our Enoch and our great Elijah, ascended alive into heaven for us and our salvation.
- Law: Death overtakes me because I am permeated by sin and am subject to its penalty.
- Gospel: In the death of Jesus is the death of death itself, and I will be raised up with Christ and seated with Him in heaven.
It’s time for the baton—or rather the mantle—of Elijah to pass to his vicar, Elisha. Cleaving to his master’s side, Elisha follows him on a somewhat circuitous route that ends east of the Jordan. In this same region centuries before, the baton had been passed from Moses to Joshua. Now it would go from Elijah to Elisha—same song, second verse. It is here, too, that the latter-day Elijah, that is, John the Baptist, would bow out so that the Elisha-like Jesus could move forward with His ministry— same song, final verse.
- Elisha insistently told Elijah many times, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you” (2 Kings 2:2, 4, 6). What other Old Testament biblical pair does this recall? See Ruth 1:16–18. Who is our faithful companion? See Matthew 28:19–20.
- What does the title prophet bring to mind? How does the Bible define prophet? See Exodus 7:1–2; Jeremiah 1:9; and 2 Peter 1:20–21. What is the relationship between the prophets and the Holy Scriptures?
- This lesson refers to the “sons of the prophets,” young men who were taught by the prophets how to proclaim God’s Word. Why might have Elijah gone to visit them before he went to heaven? What was the central message of all the prophets, as Peter told a different group of “sons of the prophets” in Acts 3:18–26?
- Elijah struck the Jordan River with his prophet’s cloak, and the water parted so that he and Elisha could cross on dry ground (2 Kings 2:8). What other two Old Testament scenes does this recall? See Exodus 14:21 and Joshua 3:15–16. What two spiritual themes might Elijah’s crossing of the river allude to?
- Elisha asked his spiritual father, Elijah, for “a double portion” of his spirit (2 Kings 2:9). What does Deuteronomy 21:17 say is the right of the firstborn son? Why does Elijah say that Elisha has “asked a hard thing” (2 Kings 2:10)? Upon whom does the fulfillment of this request depend?
- Elijah was taken “by a whirlwind into heaven” after “chariots of fire and horses of fire” put space between him and Elisha (2 Kings 2:11–12). What is the significance of the whirlwind? See Job 38:1 and Zechariah 9:14.
- What are the similarities and differences between the fates of Enoch, Moses, and Elijah? See Genesis 5:24 and Deuteronomy 34:4–6. What comfort is given to us in Matthew 17:1–3? in Acts 1:9–11?
- What did Elisha’s retention of Elijah’s cloak in 2 Kings 2:13–15 indicate to Elisha and the sons of the prophets? Compare with 1 Kings 19:19–21.
- It was noted in the Context section that the Jordan River area hosted three transitions of leadership for God’s people: Moses to Joshua, Elijah to Elisha, and John to Jesus. Yet in what way is the third transition dramatically different from the other two? See John 1:29–30 and 3:25–30.
- Elisha received a double portion of the spirit of his spiritual father, Elijah, but we have received something even greater from our heavenly Father. What is this gift? See John 3:34–36; Acts 2:38; and Titus 3:4–7. 11. In Colossians 3:1–11, what connections are made between Christ’s ascension, our resurrection with Him, and the conduct of our lives here on earth?