They sent fifty men, who searched … but did not find [Elijah]. When they returned to Elisha … he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”
—2 Kings 2:17-18
When Elijah was taken into heaven, Elisha was left behind with the great prophet’s cloak. The community of prophets from Jericho weren’t convinced that Elijah was gone for good, so they wanted to search for him. Elisha said there was no point in doing that, but they went anyway and then returned empty-handed.
“I told you so,” Elisha said. That wasn’t just a petty complaint. Elisha was saying, “Don’t you get it? I am the Lord’s prophet now. From now on, you’ll have to deal with me. I am the real thing.”
A prophet of God is an awesome person and is to be treated with respect. A prophet is someone with God’s authority—and someone who holds God’s authority is the real thing; you can’t fake that.
Today we are prophets engaged in proclaiming the truth about God and his kingdom. Does that make us awesome people? We may need to accept that there is an aura of awesomeness about us—but we can’t let that go to our heads. We need to take our genuine authority as God’s prophets seriously—and thus honor God in all we do.
Will the people you meet today know that you are a prophet of the Holy One of Israel? If so, how? If not, why not?
You are awesome, O God, and we give you thanks for the ways you will use us to proclaim the truth about you to our neighbors and friends. Help us to speak your words faithfully. Amen.
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